Die Totenhosen was not the first Western act to perform in Myanmar.
World renowned crooner Engelbert Humperdinck almost made it to the former capital. The British singer was due to perform at the National Theatre in Yangon in July 2012 in a performance promoted as “the first oncert of a Western star in Myanmar.”
The claim led to widespread criticism after which the show was cancelled due to “health reasons” involving relatives of the British singer, who one-a-half-months earlier had represented the UK at the Eurovision Song contest in Baku.
A few months later, in December, American Jason Mraz performed in Yangon during a free concert at People’s Park aimed at raising awareness about human trafficking in Myanmar. About 50,000 fans watched his show.
Mraz said he was honoured by the invitation to perform in the former dictatorship. “I think the country is, at this time, downloading lots of new information from all around the world,” he said.
“I’ve always wanted my music to be here, (for) hope and celebration, peace, love and happiness. And so I’m delighted that my music can be a part of this big download that Burma is experiencing right now.”
The Myanmar punkers who thronged the Kandawgyi Park concert seemed to have other things on their mind than contemplating past history. They enjoyed the energetic show, the slightly unconventional brainchild of the German embassy.