A-HA: farewell tour (ending on a high note)

Yesterday me and my friend Linda went to see A-HA on their farewell tour. This is their last tour, before they split once and for all. (Allthough I think they might come back when the urge is too big or the money offered is something you can’t say no to)

I was excited about this concert because I’d read that the stage would be huge and the screens behind the scene too. I read somewhere that the screens were around 600 square meters and the stage would be 1200!

It was a lovely evening, the sun was shining, but it wasn’t too hot. We arrived the arena with lots of other people and the queue to get in was not bad, concidering there would be around 28.000 people there (the newspapers have stated between 25 – 29.000, so god knows how many it actually was…)

The warm-up acts were two norwegian band; first a jazz-heavy-metal band which only did two things: played the guitar insanly loud and screamed. Not my cup of tea. It was aweful! Then there was a strange group named Polka Bear. It was a funny band; playing polka and jodl.

From A-HA’s first song, The Sun Always Shine On TV, the stage which looked like a butterfly, blew my mind. It was friggen awesome. During that song, multiple pictures were displayd rapidly. The lights, the colors, the pictures… ah! It was magic. A-HA isn’t the band that does the most on stage;t they don’t rock around like crazy. So the screen and the lights helped them out to make magic. A reviewer in a online newspaper said there had not been anything like it in Norwegian Rocks history! And I believe he was right, saying that.

A beautiful backdrop.

The hits came one after one. They played 21 songs which included hits like Scoundrel Days, Manhatten Skyline, Hunting High and Low, Stay On These Roads, I’ve Been Loosing You and Move To Memphis. Linda and I, we were looking at each other so happy! We praised the songs and the stage not only once, but several times.

I recorded Hunting High And Low. I have still no luck with embedding videos to this blog, so you have to go check it out on youtube.

Half way they calmed it down a bit and played their new single Butterfly, Butterfly (the last Hurrah) in which Morten Harket forgot the lyrics. He had to stop for second and just smiled to the audience.  Along with that one,  and a sencere thank you for coming and following them all these years,  they played a few songs from their albums released in the early 2000.  Minor Earth Major Sky, Forever Not Yours and Summer Moved On is such beautiful songs and they are awesome live! The only thing missing in the calm section, was Velvet; a beautiful, beautiful song.

The backdrop for Living Daylights (song from the James Bond movie)

The Living Daylights was a sign that the concert was coming to an end. They often play that song as one of their last songs. Everybody were singing a long to the chours: Ooooh oooooh oooh, living daylights.  We knew that their monster hit Take On Me was around the corner. Before they started the song Mags (Magne Furuholmen) said: Here it is; like we had waited for it all evening. Even after all these years, this song still kicks ass! It’s a stadium breaker. Everyone went crazy; singing out loud, jumping up and down, waiving their hand in the air.

The song ended, but it wasn’t over yet. The fireworks started! That’s how you say farewell in a propper way!

The show as two hours with pure awesomeness. This concert was better than my last, mainly because of the stage. The newspapers agree with me (and Linda) that it was a great concert. The online newspapers I’ve read has all given them 5/6. I will give them 6/6. 6 because of the stage alone.

I’m (still) your fan

Last friday my friend Linda and I (8.000 in total) went to see Leonard Cohen in Oslo Spektrum. It was her first concert with him, but my second. I was very excited about this concert, because I knew how great it has been back in 2008. The concert start was set to 19.30 and he started ten minutes later. We were there right in time. high up quite far from the stage, but with a great view.

With Dance Me To The End Of Love, he started the concert. And after the opening, the hits came one by one. We got to hear Anthem, Take This Waltz, Halleluja, I’m Your Man, Closing Time, Tower of Love, The future, The Aint No Cure For Love among others.

He was just as sweet as last time. And humble and a pure gentleman. He took off his hat and bowed so many times. When he introduced us to the band he did it and when one of the players/singers in the band had a solo. How many musician bow the guitarist when they do their solo? Pretty much nobody. I said to Linda sometime during the concert that Cohen was so sweet I felt like giving him a big hug!

I must say Cohen impress me. The concert started at 19.40, he had a 20 minute break and ended 23.30. That means he played for 3.5 hours! And he’s friggen 76 years old! It’s amazing.

At the end of the concert he left the stage a few times and came right back. He acutally danced off stage and danced on again. His steps were so light and it was so funny to watch!

How cool isn’t it to be 76 and still being able to do what you love the most in life? Ah. I wish I have it like that when/if I get 76.

I managed to record some of the songs via my phone. I’m a newbie when it comes to that, so on all songs you have to tilt your head to see it. Before next concert (A-HA, the 21st of August) I have to find out how to do it right!

Can’t embed my videos into this post apparently, so I’ll give you the link to them on Youtube.

Enjoy :)

Music & books

I’m not much of a reader. I love to read, but I don’t read nearly as many books as I would like to. If I read, I mostly read crime books, esp. from writers like Jo Nesbø, Henning Mankell and Håkan Nesser. I love crime novels.

What I also l love to read is books about muscisians I like. Years ago I read a book about Robbie Williams. I’ve alos read books about Springsteen. Right now I have at least three unfinished books; one about U2, a Springsteen book and a E Street Band Book. The great thing about these books is that you can put it away for months and pick it up again wihthout having to read it all over again, because you’ve forgot half of the plot.

Now I’ve started on a new book as of today. Clarence (from the E Street Band) and his long-time friend Don Reo has written about Clarence. The book got the name Big Man, which is Clarenc’s nickname. Because he is a big man; in more than one way.

I ordered the book on play.com before Easter, but didn’t think it would arrive until Easter was over. It took way longer than expected. I don’t know what, but something happened with my order, so I didn’t get a notification to pick it up at the post office before monday.

I took the notification paper with me on tuesday to pick it up. After work ended I went to the post office to send a package, but I forgot to pick up the book. And I didn’t realise that before I had bought groceries and was on my way home. I was too tired to go down there again, so I had to wait another day.

Yesterday I picked it up, but didn’t get the chance to start read it before today. I brought it to work and read on the bus this morning. It’s only when I bring a good book on the bus, I wish my busride to work would take longer. Seven minutes is not enough. You only get to start reading before you have to hop off.

Luckily I could read while I had my lunchbreak today. Normally I play cards with my colleague Gøril during lunch, but she couldn’t have lunch with me to day. Normally I would be bummed, but today I actually was happy about it.

I’ve only read like twenty pages, but it’s great so far! I’ve had many laughs. It will be fun & interesting to know this man a little better. Because I don’t know much about him. He is the most awesome sax player I know.

The nickname Big Man suits him very well. Not only because he’s very tall and strong / robust. He is big in whole other way too. He’s big when it comes to play the sax and his interaction with Springsteen. There is no one quite like him!

I was talking to Linda earlier this year about concerts. She was hungry for a concert, because it had been so long since last time. I was feeling the same. With a sigh I had to tell her that I had checked my music sources and there wasn’t any great concert in sight; neither small or big. I was a little bit afraid it would be a year with not so much concerts.

Things have changed!

Not long ago I found out Leonard Cohen is coming back to Oslo in Augsust. That man is awesome and taken his age in cosideration, he might not tour for much longer. Linda hadn’t seen him before; last time he came, she didn’t go. So I ordered tickets for us.

A few days later we ordered tickets to see A-HA. It’s the start on their farewell tour. I have my doubts that they really are pulling out the plugs and are saying goodbye for good, but that doesn’t really matter. I had to see them anyway! This will be my 4th time seeing them.

They’ll be playing, outdoor, in August. In fact, they are playing at the same day as Lars Winnerbäck is playing at the roof of the Opera-house! Big disappointment! I really wanted to see Winnerbäck!

That is not all. I’m also going on a festival this summer; Stavernfestivalen. Been there once before and it was very fun. This time it will be even better because we’re not staying in a hotel, but we’ve rented two cabins to sleep in. We’re four girls going.

The festival has Norwegian music profile. Mostly acts come from Norway, but they also have international bands. The programme is not set yet, but I know Simple Minds are coming. And for the Norwegian band, we’ll be able to see Dum Dum Boys, Jon Olav Nilsen og Gjengen, Åge Aleksandersen, Hellbillies, Thom Hell and the rapper Lars Vaular.

First I said no to the festival. I had planned to spend my money on other things. Linda, who I’m going with, first said ok and that she was going to find someone else to share the cabin with. After a little while, she begged me to come along. She was so convincing I couldn’t say no. Oh boy was she happy when I finally said yes. It made me very happy when she said there should be more people like me in the world. Words like that makes you smile.

Not long ago I found out that the Gaslight Anthem is playing at a festival in Oslo. I really, really, really wanna go see them, but I’m not sure I’ll have anyone who will go with me. And they play on a day when I work, so if I buy a ticket for that festival day, I will miss out some of the bands. I have yet to decide what to do. Last year when they were in Norway, they were also playing a festival. Why can’t they play  a stand-alone  concert? Gah!

Oh well, you can’t win them all. Isn’t that what they say?

I ♥ A-HA

a-ha

Yesterday was the day of the A-HA concert with Ellen. I’m so glad I everything worked out and I was able to get a ticket, because it was a super show.

To my big surprise the warm up act before A-HA came on was Donkeyboy – a new Norwegian group who has had at least two singles playing on the radio constantly for several months. I like them and was happy to see them live. But they didn’t beat A-HA of course.

a-ha1

I just love Mags’ (Magne Furuholmen) synth! We were standing to the left of the stage and had a clear view to Mags. Paul was on the other side, so we didn’t see that much of him. He came over to our side once though. Morten was most at the middle, but wandered around from time to time.

I wouldn’t have expected it, but Mags was the one who talked the most. I think that was a good thing, because Morten has a tendency to get lost in his own words. And something that can take a few seconds to say, often takes a few minutes. heh.

I haven’t had time to listen to the new album that much. I’ve sort of forgotten about it. So there was a few new songs I didn’t remember. They weren’t bad, not at all. Foot of the mountain is a new and really good song.  But I like the old hits the most.

The stage was great. I loved the visual part of the concert. They had big screems behind them and everything matched with the songs. That makes the concert so much better.

They started with the sun always shines on TV which is a great opening! We also got served Hunting high and Low, Manhatten Skyline, Scoundrel Days, Stay on These Roads and Forever Not Yours.

In the middle of the show they had a little sequence where they slowed down and played a few low-tempo songs. I liked that. I love when I get surprised by a song. I got that yesterday. I had forgotten about the song Velvet. It is so utterly beautiful. And they played it. Ahh. I was so happy.

The encore was great. They started with Cry Wolf, the song I’ve been singing on all week. I texted Linda with the words Cry Wolf oooh oohh ;). Then they played Analogue. The second last song was The Living Daylights which kicks ass live. Everybody sang together on the chorus.

When Take On Me came, after 1 h. and 45 mins, we all knew it was the last song of the evening. They always end with the monsterhit – the song that made them superstars world wide.

I missed a few songs like Touchy and Early Morning, but you can’t get them all. The show couldn’ve been longer. We all want more, you know! 1 h. and 50 mins didn’t seem enough.

Place: Oslo Spektrum
Audience: 8500 (sold out)
Playing time: 1 h. 50 mins
Number of songs: 21 songs
Score: 5 / 6

I ♥ concerts

aha

It feels like eons of times since I last went to a concert. Good lord, I don’t think I’ve been to any since the Pink Pop festival in late May. Jeeze Louise. It’s about time I go to one then.

Today I got hold of a ticket to see A-HA on saturday. They are playing at Oslo Spektrum.

I had thought about going since August. On monday I thought ‘oh I have to buy the ticket NOW!’. Then it was sold out. Not good. Ellen, who is also going, was not impressed with me. I found a guy on finn.no who sold one ticket. I was able to buy that. So today I went downtown to pick it up.

Something strange, is that today I saw there were tickets left. Maybe they added more tickets? Or maybe they relisted the tickets no one has picked up. I don’t now, but it doesn’t really matter.

I’m really looking forward to see A-HA again. It’s been years since last time. It’s so long ago I don’t remember. Maybe it was 2002 or 2003? I’ve been going around singing on Cry wolf all day.

And if that wasn’t enough. Next week I’m going to see Lars Winnerbäck again! That will be great! I absolutely LOVE Winnerbäck. He’s fantastic.

I aslo might have another concert to attend this month. It depends if a friend is avaliable. Can’t say much about it now, since it’s gonna be a surprise for her. Hopefully it will work out!

So, two concerts in one week. And maybe one more this month. About time! It shouldn’t go several months between my concerts.

Even though it has rained some days now,  it’s been very grey outside and the prospect of cold nights is present, november won’t be that bad! It will be quite good actually.

Per @ Rockefeller

concert

Yesterday I went to see Per Gessle at Rockefeller with Ellen. It was almost like seeing an old flame again. It’s a year and a half since the crazy-days faded away and my relationship to Mr. Gessle turned into something more healty and normal. Thank god for that!

I did not know what to expect from this concert and I didn’t know how it would be to see him again. I was crazy about him like those teenagers are about their idols. Oh gosh, I almost cringe when I think about it. haha. I knew his half new album (december 08) wasn’t that good and I was afraid he would play lots of songs from it. From a review from Aftonbladet, I found out he would only sing a few and a lot of old Roxette songs in stead. Phew!

The support act was the Swede Martinique. A guy dressed in white jeans, black leather jacket and black pointy shoes (just the way I don’t want guys to be) with a womans voice. He only sang 4 songs or something, and I’m glad for that. I didn’t like him at all! Thank god there were better things in store.

It was great to see the band again; Per, Helena, Christoffer, Magnus, Clarence and Pelle. Pelle Ahlsing I didn’t know and I went ‘oh, he’s the drummer from the Rox-days’ when he got introduced. Per in black (black nail poilsh included!). Helena was very sparkly with her golden outfit. Magnus was smiling and laughing a lot. And he still looks a lot like Linda’s dad. Funny! Christoffer looked a bit like a dressed up bum with his long hair, beach-hat and suit-pants. Clarence was the one who really was dressed for succsess with his red, glittery Fez-hat! It was awesome! They all looked great together. Even Ellen said that!

Rockefeller isn’t big and we were there when the doors opened. It was easy to get a good spot. We ended up at first row, all the way out to the left, haning on the fence. Good spot. I had a good eye on everyone.

The concert was a mix of old Rox songs, one new song (Party Pleaser) and some from SOAP and his english solo-stuff. It was no Swedish songs this evening and that was ok. I think it would’ve been weird to mix swedish and english.

It was really fun to hear the old Rox-songs. But i must say that I missed Marie’s voice on some of them, like Dressed for Success, Dangerous and the Look. Still with Per’s voice, they were good. Just not great. The Look was a crowd-pleaser and everybody sang along.

What was great was the Rox ballads I wish i could fly, Listen to your heart and especially It must’ve been Love. IMHBL was a great, great song. Stripped down and really beautiful. That might’ve been the best song of the night!

He had a few SOAP ballads too that were good. I have a party in my head and Late, later on was really nice songs. And when Helena comes in with her beautiful voice, it only gets better. Ah. I love her voice.

The only really bad one was Come On from SOAP. Oh god! When they put full lights on and Per sang with high notes (falsetto?) I buried my face in my hands for a second or two. The lights exposed him and I remember I was thinking ‘Per, why are you doing this?’ haha.

The evening gave me a strange mix of songs Per has made.  A little bit of everything from his ‘english catalogue’.

How do I rate this concert… 4.8/6? yeah…. something like that.

A bit disturbing thought has popped up in my mind. (Chantie might pop her eyes out when she reads this…) It would be kind of fun to see Roxette re-unite and do some concerts! Some… one would actually be enough, if I could be there. I would love to hear Per and Marie perform some of their hits!

One question I ask myself is why Per did this tour. He didn’t play much from his latest album, so it couldn’t be to promote that one. Maybe he just wanted to sing/tour again? I shouldn’t bother trying to figure that out. I should just be happy he’s on the road again. And I am. Happy, happy, happy!

Per, it was nice seeing you and the gang again :)

Whoa! That was awesome!

So yesterday was the day when Ellen and I went to see The September When.  Ellen met me at home at 4 o’clock and we had dinner together. I had planned to pop a bottle of wine, but I was out on friday drinking, so I didn’t feel like drinking again. We were both quite tired and sank down in the sofa after the dinner was consumed. I was a bit worried since we both were so tired, but it didn’t turn out to be a problem.

tsw

First this DJ from the US, Jason  Forrest performed. He was just crazy! Not my kind of music at all. It was hard, agressive and explosive in a way. His dance-moves, if we can call it that, was like an octopus on extacy! Still, it was fun to watch. At least I think so. I think Ellen thinks less of it than I am. When he ended, he said see you later. None of us put anything into that.

Then this chick-group, Katzenjammer, came on. They are so cool live! I’ve seen them once before. I actually think they are better live than on a cd in your own livingroom. They have so much energy and they all alternate on singing on playing the instruments.

The real stars, the reason we came, was of course the September When. I’ve never seen them live before. I started to like them at the end of their careere, so that’s the reason.

I didn’t know what to expect from them and I had no idea if it would be great or not. I hadn’t listened to their old stuff in a loooong time, maybe 10 years, so I knew their might be some songs I wouldn’t remember.

They played some songs from their new album and I think they chose the right songs. The picked all the great ones like Don’t Call the Cops, Judas Kiss (it might be it) and We Want the Truth, Bubba. From their old stuff they chose hits like, Cries Like a Baby, Can I Trust You and Mama Won’t Tell You No Lie. Of course, they also played Bullet Me, one of their monster hits. The crazy DJ came on stage to play with them. I was a bit worried, but it turned out to be awesome. That version of Bullet was just great. The crowed exploded and I was so genually happy I was jumping up and down like a crazy! It was the best song up to then.

Not long after, they played a song called the Garden Party. I had forgot about that song. And, oh dear, it blew my mind. It was beautiful. I think that was the best song of the entire show. The lightshow were cool and it was close to perfect.

They had of couse an encore. Well, they had two actually. The last time they came in, Morten Abel (the lead singer) said to the crowd: I had ordered a cab. That was so funny! They played 1.5 hours or so. They could’ve played longer, I wish they had!

If I should put my finger on something negative… hmm.. it must be that when Morten Abel talks to the crowd, it’s hard to understand what he says. He had a different dialect, but it’s not hard to understand. It’s just that it seems like he “swallows words” when he talks. He’s mumbling a bit. And I was a bit bummed that there were no merchandice to buy. I always check out if there is any cool t-shirt to buy. They had nothing! Only the special guests had merchs. Blah.

And at last, something that not to do with the band or the show. The prices on the drinks were ridicoulus! Ellen wanted to buy a bottle of water, but it costed 38 NOK. That’s like twice the price (or more) in the regular store! We did NOT buy anything!

I was a happy camper going home, singing on Can I Trust You on the tram :)

Score: 5.5/6.

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