Arts and Culture 2011

Amy Holtcamp

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Spoleto Highlight - Die Roten Punkte

Posted 6/5/2010 9:33:00 PM
Astrid and Otto Rot are a German brother/sister rock band that has become a rock sensation, topping the charts in Europe. Their faces smeared with red lipstick, the duo rocks songs like "Ich Bin Nicht Ein Roboter (I Am a Lion),” on teeny-tiny, child-sized instruments. The dysfunctional duo are perfect foils; Otto is a straight-edge vegan and Astrid is a die-hard party girl. Their manager has forced them into family therapy as a condition of their tour in order to deal with the childhood trauma of watching their parents be killed, either by a train or a lion, depending on which sibling you ask.

No, this isn’t the real world. It’s better. It’s the world of Die Roten Punkte (The Red Dots).

The band’s songs range from a dark, Nick Cave-inspired ballad that delves into their parents death, to, “Astrid’s Drinking Song,” which instructs the audience to refill their glasses because they’ll “be dead for a very long time.” The lyrics are clever, naughty and fun, but the songs also rock. Actually, they are so good that you sometimes forget that they are meant to be satirical.

The real joy of the show is the interaction between Otto and Astrid between songs – and the siblings’ interaction with the audience. This is not a show where you can sit safely and anonymously in the dark. If your cellphone rings, Ottto will innocently ask the stage manager to bring up the house lights and then ask your fellow audience members to point to you and turn you in.

But it’s all in good fun. Die Roten Punkte’s humor is jolly, not mean. Even when a guy in the crowd heckled Astrid (in German,) she dealt with it by dedicating her naughty love song, “Oh My God, Yes!” to him. Some of their lyrics can be a little bit lewd, but there’s an innocence and naïveté to the Rots’ personas that keep them naughty, not raunchy. The crowd at the late night show Friday ranged from teens to grandpas, and everyone seemed to be smiling, laughing – and rocking.

For more information and to hear songs and see videos by Die Rotetn Punkte, visit www.dierotenpunkte.com. For more information about the festival, visit www.spoletousa.org