“We’ll push our way to the front,” my friend, a staunch Charlie Puth fan, told me right before the Charlie’s concert in Postbanhof Club in Berlin on May 14. “The Germans will probably stand around politely. We have the Israeli chutzpah.”
Charlie Puth, in case you haven’t yet heard, is rising talent and teen sensation, following the likes of Justin Bieber, but much more musical and, for now, at least, more clean cut. He’s famous for hits like “>One Call Away.” His boyish, slightly nerdy looks, have captured the hearts of teenagers across the globe. He’s Jewish from his Jewish mother’s side; his father is of German descent. Apparently, that makes for a magical combination for German girls.
I’ve never seen this much German aggression since World War II. We tried to push our way to the front of the line, arguing, truthfully, that we were meeting our friends. (New friends whom we just met while standing in line – a girl who went to school with Charlie at Berklee College of Music in Boston – and a young gay couple who were the only ones to score a backstage private song with Charlie [although in classic German stoic fashion, they acted as if it were a trip to the post office]).
“Our friends are up front,” we said as we started elbowing our way to the foot of the stage.
“Yeah, right,” a German girl said, pushing me.
“Don’t let them go through,” whispered another friend.
We also learned that Charlie’s VIP manager, Jonathan, was a Birthright alum. When Rodeh had met him for first time, Jonathan wore an IDF themed T-shirt. Charlie himself has never been to Israel, and apparently he grew up as an unaffiliated Jew. Music was his religion, and he got noticed playing covers of pop hits with his virtuoso piano playing and perfect high notes. Rodeh said the singer could play a jazz concert, and his Berklee classmate confirmed as much, saying his talent and playfulness made him one to watch.
I’m sure our Israeli “protexia” (connections) brought out some Jewish envy, and I understood why the Germans girls might want to be anti-Semites after we pushed our way to the front of the line despite their taunts. But sometimes, Jews gotta do what they gotta do and fight back. And we had Charlie to make them forget and only love.
Watch Asaf play with Charlie: