17.07.2015 Skambankt (Rootsfestivalen, Brønnøysund)

July 19th, 2015
17.07.2015 – Photos Skambankt (Rootsfestivalen, Brønnøysund)

I thought moving to Norway would make it easier to catch more Skambankt concerts – but this year, Skambankt focused on Denmark and “anywhere but Trøndelag”, it seemed. =;-) But after checking their festival list, it wasn’t hard to decide on Brønnøysund and Rootsfestivalen! A great line-up, and a nice little town in beautiful landscape. And the festival turned out to be a great choice: Awesome concerts, sold out and a big crowd, and with a lot of free activities during the day the organizers managed to get the local audience involved. Thus a really nice festival!

But: Who the hell came up with the idea to have Skambankt play between Marit Larsen (pop) and Gabrielle (pop)? I mean, nothing against those two ladies, their concerts were fun, but Skambankt had a really hard time between these shows. Hardly anybody seemed to even know them – except for a handful of people in the front row. Or wait, I did see someone singing along during Malin, I think … but that was it.

So Skambankt came on to basically no reaction from probably the smallest crowd of the whole weekend … and an hour or so later, they went off after huge applause of at least twice the crowd. Yay! =:-D

They seemed a bit uncomfortable at the beginning of the concert – and it certainly didn’t help that Tollak broke a bass string during the third song … But “Skambankt” as first song worked great (“Nå vet dokke i hvert fall ka me heite!”), and while the first songs got a “polite” reaction, the audience clearly started enjoying themselves when Skambankt played “Vår bør”. With artists like Gabrielle (for kids) and Roger Hodgson (from Supertramp) at the festival, the audience was very very mixed, with an average way older than at other festivals. Terje knew how to deal with that though: “Is there anyone here who used to listen to punk music when they were young? And who maybe still likes it?” – sure, that appealed to the inner rebel of course. =;-) So with “Me sa nei!” they really got the audience, and from then on, the concert was great fun and less work for Skambankt, I assume. =;-) Even though there were still a few slightly awkward “I need to say something now, but what?” announcements between the songs … Like when we were supposed to count down from 25 in “Me sa nei!” and Terje asked if Brønnøysund can count … which they surely can, because of the register. Uhem. (For the Germans: Brønnøysund = Flensburg. No idea what the respective towns are in other countries. *gg*) Or when Terje started talking about Morten Abel, who played the night before: “Men me har viktigere ting å gjøre nå enn å snakke om Morten Abel. Som å spille Skambankt-konsert!”

But Børge saved the day with an awesome drum solo (even though drum solos aren’t really allowed at festivals, but if the drummer is from Hammerfest, it is okay). And the audience loved it! They got more and more into the show, and again, it was a heard-earned victory for Skambankt, and a great and fun show!

Of course festival shows are in no way comparable to “real” Skambankt shows, but they are definitely a great way to bridge the time between tours. =:-)

The setlist:

  • Skambankt
  • Voodoo
  • Dynasti
  • Vår bør
  • Me sa nei
  • Mantra
  • Alarm
  • Som en sirene
  • Desertør
  • O dessverre
  • Malin
  • Stormkast #1

06.-09.08.2015 Taubertal-Festival (Rothenburg o.d. Tauber)

May 24th, 2015
This entry doesn't exist in English.

Taubertal-Festival 2015Das Taubertal-Festival wird 20! Und zum zehnten Mal geht es auch für mich nach Rothenburg – wenn auch diesmal mit etwas längerem Anreiseweg. Nachdem ich im letzten Jahr nach Norwegen umgezogen bin, war ich nicht sicher, ob ich es in diesem Jahr wieder zum Festival schaffen würde. Dann aber immer wieder die News aus der Heimat: Kraftklub gehen auf Tour! Madsen gehen auf Tour! Farin Urlaub und sein Racing Team! Und jedes Mal ein kleiner Stich … Können die sich nicht absprechen und gleichzeitig auf Tour gehen, sodass sich ein Trip nach Deutschland lohnt?

Können sie. Oder zumindest können sie einfach alle beim Taubertal spielen! :-) Und damit macht das Taubertal-Festival mal wieder seinem Ruf alle Ehre, immer alle tollen Bands zu versammeln. Man nehme die Creme de la Creme aus Deutschland – Kraftklub, Beatsteaks, Farin Urlaub, Marteria, Sondaschule, Olli Schulz. Ausgeschmückt wird das Ganze dann mit internationalen Bands: The Offspring, Dropkick Murphys, Against me!, Funeral for a friend, Everlast. Vielleicht nicht die größten Namen, aber alles Bands, die man sich nicht entgehen lassen würde, wenn sie im Zwei-Stunden-Umkreis spielen. Und alle beim selben Festival; wie immer drei Tage prall gefüllt mit grandioser Live-Musik.

Genauer genommen sogar vier Tage – den Donnerstag habe ich in den letzten Jahren meist ausfallen lassen. Aber gerade habe ich mein Hotel umgebucht … Eröffnet wird das Festival nämlich im Steinbruch mit u.a. Boppin’ B und Sondaschule – mehr als genug Grund, um schon am Donnerstag anzureisen! Oder (für die Camper) sogar schon am Mittwoch; das wird nach viel berechtigter Kritik im letzten Jahr diesmal nämlich wieder erlaubt sein.

Zusätzlich zum tollen Line-Up (das noch nicht vollständig ist) kündigen die Veranstalter zum Jubiläum auch eine Reihe Extras und Specials an. Lassen wir uns überraschen, was es damit auf sich haben wird – aber auch so ist und bleibt das Taubertal eines der schönsten deutschen Festivals. Wunderschön gelegen, praktisch in Laufweite nach Rothenburg für den Sonntagsbrunch (oder die Dusche im Schwimmbad), mit bewährter und “grüner” Infrastruktur – was inmitten eines Naturschutzgebietes natürlich grundlegende Voraussetzung ist, aber für ein Festival dieser Größenordnung absolut keine Selbstverständlichkeit. Das Taubertal ist seit Jahren Vorreiter für “Sounds for Nature”, mit 100% Ökostrom, Green-Camping, der “Love your tent”-Kampagne und enger Kooperation mit dem Bund Naturschutz.

Noch gibt es Tickets – das Taubertal war in den letzten Jahren aber immer restlos ausverkauft. Wer dabei sein will, sollte sich also schnell seine Tickets sichern! Wochenendtickets inkl. Camping kosten 109 Euro (198 Euro für VIP-Tickets), Tagestickets kosten 50-55 Euro (80 Euro für VIP-Tickets). Alle Infos, Ticketlinks und das bisherige Line-Up gibt es auf http://taubertal-festival.com/.

31.07-01.08.2015 Mini-Rock-Festival (Horb am Neckar)

May 24th, 2015
This entry doesn't exist in English.
Mini-Rock-Festival 2015

Der Sommer steht vor der Tür, und es ist wieder Zeit für die Festivalplanung! Mich hat es zwar mittlerweile ins Ausland verschlagen, aber das Mini-Rock-Festival in Horb ist natürlich – wie in den letzten Jahren – fest gesetzt für den Sommer.

Große Neuerungen stehen in diesem Jahr nicht an; Gelände und Organisation haben sich in den letzten Jahren bewährt, da gibt es also keinen Grund zur Veränderung. Los geht es wie immer mit dem Warm-Up am Donnerstag. Ob es auch wieder Live-Karaoke geben wird und ob der neue Skatepark beibehalten wird, wurde noch nicht bekanntgegeben, aber es würde mich überraschen, wenn dem nicht so wäre. Beides waren im letzten Jahr schöne Ergänzungen zum sowieso schon tollen Programm.

Und auch beim diesjährigen Line-Up zeigt sich eine gewisse Konstanz: Itchy Poopzkid waren schon 2012 dabei, Heißkalt und Schmutzki 2013, und einen der besten Auftritte im letzten Jahr lieferten ganz klar Trailerpark ab – daher sind diese für 2015 als Headliner gebucht! Der zweite Headliner ist in diesem Jahr Royal Republic; unterschiedlicher könnten die Headliner eines Festivals kaum sein. Deutscher Hip-Hop und schwedischer Punk! Und auch hier gilt wieder: warum ändern, was sich bestens bewährt hat? Genau dieser Stilmix macht das Mini-Rock-Festival aus, und vor den Bühnen findet sich immer genau der Teil des Publikums ein, der eben diese Musik mag. Für den Rest gibt es derweil Zeltplatzparty. Insgesamt wirkt das Line-Up diesmal etwas “hip-hop-iger” als sonst, aber das ist bei Trailerpark als Headliner nicht wirklich überraschend.

Die Co-Heads klingen für mich in diesem Jahr weniger vielversprechend: Genetikk sagt mir nichts und weder Foto noch Bio locken mich, und Kvelertak sind … nun ja, Kvelertak eben. 😉 Die Erfahrung sagt aber, dass beim Mini-Rock auch die Bands, an die man die geringsten Erwartungen hat, regelmäßig für Überraschungen sorgen. Ich bin also gespannt, wer in diesem Jahr meine große Neuentdeckung sein wird!

Tickets fürs Mini-Rock-Festival kosten 48 Euro (Camping zusätzlich 9 Euro plus Müllpfand). Wer gleich fünf Tickets bestellt, bekommt noch einige zusätzliche Goodies. Alle Infos, Ticketlinks und das komplette Line-Up gibt’s auf www.mini-rock-festival.de.

April 2015 – Seigmen, Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg & Cloroform (Trondheim)

May 3rd, 2015

Quite a few concerts again in the last two weeks! And all quite fun, which means I should write at least a few words. Especially considering that there aren’t really any other concerts on my calendar until the summer festivals!

18.04.2014 – Seigmen (Byscenen)

First up were Seigmen at Byscenen. They left quite an impression after their concert at Verket festival last year, so I didn’t wait to get my ticket for their concert in Trondheim. Actually, I was quite surprised that it took a few weeks to sell out the show! I had expected a few hours, if not minutes …

The concert was fun, but not as energetic and enthusiastic as I had hoped for. I guess that was partly due to the audience being pretty quiet and laid-back – that kind of made sense considering the show wasn’t sold out right away, so there weren’t only the “hardcore fans” there. But it was also due to the band. The music and the energy during the songs were great, but in the breaks, we didn’t really get anything but “Do you feel alright?” and “Can you be louder than Bergen???” Not very creative.

Still, a good concert, and in nice company, so it was a really fun night.

22.04.2015 – Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg (Blæst)

I had wondered for a while if I should get a ticket for that concert or not. In the middle of the week? Would I find anyone who’d like to come along? Basically a cover band, even though the drummer is a REAL Ramone? Would it be any fun?

But then I decided that I definitely didn’t want to miss out on that concert, because: Ramones. I mean, R.A.M.O.N.E.S! At least as close as you can get to a Ramones concert nowadays. I did not find anyone who wanted to come along (shitty taste in music, you Trondheimers!!), but it was a middle-of-the-week concert anyway, so that wasn’t a big deal. What was worse was that the concert started with an hour delay, which meant waiting around first and not being done until after midnight, on a Wednesday …

Still, the concert was awesome! First up were Sugar Louise from Trondheim, and they were a lot of fun. Conveniently, they had brought their own fans, which of course was great to warm up the audience.

Not that the Ramones (short for “Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg”, of course 😉 ) would have needed it – people were jumping and hopping and singing and moshing from the first second anyway, and that was just awesome. Great atmosphere! And while I really enjoyed the concert, I gotta say that I was a bit disappointed by the singer – maybe he just meant to be “in character”, but he seemed completely stoned on stage. No idea if he was; I would guess no and that he was just pretending, but come on … I’d rather hear good singing than think I’m at a real Ramones concert. It took me quite a while to figure out what song “Psycho groupie” was … oh, you mean “Psycho therapy”?!

But again, the audience was totally into it, and that was what made the concert so much fun. And of course hearing all the old songs, and pretending I was at a real Ramones concert. 😉

30.04.2015 – Cloroform (Blæst)

And finally: Cloroform! I’ve seen them before of course, so I knew what I was into. And for that concert, I did not hesitate with getting my ticket! I was quite shocked though when I got an email about three weeks before the show that went out to everyone who had gotten tickets already, to inform them that they had reduced the ticket price and we would get some money back. That of course wasn’t what shocked me, and the fact that all ticket buyers were on the TO: list instead of the BCC: list shocked me only slightly compared to the fact that there were exactly NINE addresses on the list. 😮

Gosh, would it really be all empty?! It pretty much looked like it when I arrived, and it only filled up slightly during the support band. I started expecting the worst, but it got much better until Cloroform came on stage!

I was a bit skeptical during the first songs – wow, this was really weird. I remembered the last concerts as much more fun and much less strange … at least after the first few songs. And exactly the same happened again. Cloroform needed a few songs to warm up, but then they really got going and the concert turned out amazing. Not much movement in the crowd, unfortunately, but it was obvious that people enjoyed themselves. An awesome concert, with all the good old songs I know and like. And I only know and like two or three albums, to be honest, so they picked just the right ones! :-)

So now there aren’t really any concerts on my list until summer – and I still haven’t picked my festivals yet. There will be two in Germany for sure, but I’m quite undecided about festivals in Norway yet. Steinkjer might be an option, and then maybe one or two where Skambankt are playing … maybe Brønnøysund? Hmm, I think I should start planning soon! :)

10.04.2015 System of a Down (Wembley Arena, London)

April 15th, 2015

I haven’t written any concert reports here for ages – mostly because that even though I’ve seen some nice concerts in the last couple of months, there weren’t really any surprises, any of those concerts where you leave with a huge smile and know that you’ve just seen something really special. (And you want to see it again and again and again, at least if you are a concert junkie.)

A few months ago, System of a Down announced a new tour. I’ve seen them at some festivals, but never at a “real” concert. They didn’t announce any concerts for Norway though … so if I wanted to see them, I knew I had to travel. First option for me would be Germany of course – but hmm. Huge arenas? Do I really want that? Or, if it has to be huge, should I maybe go all the way and see them at the Wembley Arena in London??

Well, after checking the dates it turned out that the London concert was on the same weekend as the WWE, so that meant it was time for my annual London trip anyway, yay! 😀 Said and done: a long weekend in London, started by a System of a Down concert!

Getting tickets was a bit tricky, but thanks to AXS (Ticketmaster sucks big time!) I even got a standing ticket. I had expected barriers and different sections, so I got to the arena early to make sure I got a good place in the back of the first section, but … no sections. One gigantic floor without any barriers. 😮

But: it worked. Yes, it was crowded. Yes, it was sweaty. Yes, I got a few more elbows into the ribs than I would have hoped for. But it was SO worth it!

The atmosphere was just awesome – I hadn’t really expected that when I first got in, because the arena was way less impressive and “special” than one might think. It’s just a huge all-purpose hall … (But then, to be honest, how else should a concert hall look?) It filled up rather slowly, and there was no support band.

But when SoaD came on, it was awesome right from the start. Everybody was into it, the audience was great (meaning: people took care of one another, nobody shot angry looks at those that dared to MOVE to the music, no couples tried to discuss their relationship while the concert was going on, no one was busy taking selfies with their iPad, but everyone was enjoying the concert). In the quiet parts, the audience’s singing was incredibly loud, and then everyone was back to dancing (but without suddenly running amok and kicking and hitting everyone who happened to be too close). Just awesome!

I can’t give a setlist or even attempt to list songs – I knew almost all of them, but I have no idea what the songs are called. As I mentioned, I’ve seen some SoaD gigs at festivals before, and while those were good, I always concluded that they are just not a great live band. I take that back. Fully and completely! The setlist was perfect – tight and without breaks, one song after the other, right until the audience just couldn’t go anymore. And then it was time for a slow part or a little video break. For two hours. And after that, everyone was drenched in sweat (at least everyone on the floor) and beaming with joy. The latter not only those on the floor! 😀

I honestly don’t know if it was System of a Down or London who made this concert so so great. But it was perfect. It’s been quite a while since the last concert that got me so excited. And it’s been forever since I last took off my watch during a concert, and ended up with bruises and sore muscles. It’s been too long. Way too long. This was the kind of concert that made me a concert junkie.

Thank you, System of a Down. And thank you, London! 😀

Ja det var tider det …

March 9th, 2015

What? A blog post? Here, on this site? 😮

Well, I guess it’s about time to write a bit about my move to Norway. Or to finally blog about my “Concerts 2014″. Or plan the summer festivals for 2015. Or … uhm.
Nope, I wasn’t much into blogging lately. I should pick it up again, and – maybe I will. I think I might. But I’m not promising anything. =;-)

This post, however, is not about any of those topics. It’s about – surprise surprise! -: Kaizers Orchestra. Who woulda thunk? *gg*

I saw the new Kaizers movie yesterday. I really liked it – but then, I don’t think I can really judge it. OF COURSE I liked it, since it is about Kaizers, and it actually contains new interviews and both old and new unseen footage. So it is, without a doubt, a must-see for Kaizer fans.

In one scene in the movie, Helge mentions that towards the end of Kaizers, in the last months and weeks, the friendship and the bonds between the members grew stronger. I found that really interesting, because (in a completely different context) I’ve experienced that once an “end” is decided, everything kind of falls apart, because there is no need to fix things and keep them together anymore. It’s awesome to hear that this worked out so well for Kaizers and they did not break apart in the end.

But it also got me thinking … From a fan perspective, looking back now, I have the feeling that while the bonds in the band apparently grew stronger, the “fan community”, the huge Kaizer family, started falling apart. While there was one group of “Kaizer fans” in the past, it turned more and more into one faction here, one faction there, oldtimers, newbies, Hjerteknuser fans, “everything was better in 2001″ fans, …

Of course, this isn’t surprising. The number of fans grew so much that there was just no way to have one family. And just to make that clear right away, I’m not putting the blame on anyone. I’m sure I’m just as much to blame as everyone else. While in my early fan days, I wanted to meet EVERY other Kaizers fans out there, I’ve gotten less and less interested in talking to fourteen-year-olds, I tend to look down on fans that tour for festival shows (why don’t you wait for REAL concerts?!), and I just don’t understand fans that queue hours before a show.

Years ago, there were surely also some fans that kept separate from the rest. But all in all, it felt much more like “family”. I met one of the old DMA family at the screening yesterday, and while we couldn’t even remember the other’s name, we remembered “the old days” right away. Lots of great memories – and I feel that years from now, ALL my Kaizers memories will be from the old days. Violeta? Well, yes, sure. Siste Dans? Yep, I was there. But the good times were back then, long before Violeta.

Lots of people “dropped out” of the Kaizers universe since then. That’s totally fine, everybody got their own reasons for that. I just hope that people will remember the times we had, instead of ridiculing them. Just a short while ago I was told “well, SOME of us are over Kaizers now …” Hmm. Should I congratulate you now? Because you’re over the stupidities of your youth? Or should I rather pity you because it seems you don’t see that even though this part of your life is over, we were part of something huge and we should keep it in our hearts?

OK, I might be getting a bit melodramatic now. 😉 In any case, it’s a fact that for me (other fans might be at different stages in their fandom, of course) the time of one big Kaizers family is over. Finding people to meet up with for Kaizers events is getting harder and harder, and while years ago, I was looking forward to every concert because I knew that – even without arranging anything – I would meet awesome fellow fans, I now hardly care anymore because there are only very few of those people left. And those I can meet without organized events as well.

Of course it was great to see that it’s still possible to “unite” fans without too much effort (with a few kilos of confetti or some hundred balloons – even though nobody knew how that would turn out, almost everyone was in). But there are so many fans by now that there is not one community anymore. But one of oldtimers, one of newbies, one of Hjerteknuser fans, … And I hope that all the “everything was better in 2001″ fans will manage to find their way to the cinema in the upcoming weeks, to be reminded of what we had.

It might be over. Life moves on. But I’m still proud and happy about the times we had. Me går langt tilbake til de gamle dager …

18.10.2014 Skambankt (Folken, Stavanger)

October 19th, 2014

To right away answer yesterday’s question if Skambankt could top the concert once more: Hell yeah!

Although I have to say I’m not sure Skambankt had so much to do with this … they played another awesome concert, but it felt even better because of the audience. A sold-out Folken, filled with fans! The atmosphere was awesome, and at least in the front, everybody was moving. As always, I was standing at the side (I’m just too old for the middle *g*), and even there, people were dancing and jumping, hands in the air. But in a very nice way, and everyone was enjoying the concert. Way less mobiles than yesterday, no elbows in the side, no angry or bored faces. But lots of fans that knew every song, were singing along and were focussed on the concert. I loved it!! =:-D

The setlist differed a bit from the last few concerts. Slukk meg was back (yay!!), but both Desertør and Panzersjokk were gone (boooh!). And the order was changed a bit – probably to move Me sa nei and the guest performance by Anders further out in the set. And that worked even better than yesterday! Anders had adopted the Skambankt dress code, he played the verses all alone, and he did so well that Panzer turned up his amp in the middle of the song, before Terje started the Wall of Death. =;-) And Anders already picked up how to be a rockstar. He didn’t flinch when he was drowned in beer, and before he went off stage, he threw his plek into the audience.

But he wasn’t the only “rockstar to be”. There was a boy in the front, sitting on the railing, celebrating every song (and posing for every camera *g*). Before Skambankt played Alarm, they took him up on stage, introduced him to the audience, and had him count in – which he managed perfectly. And how to get back? Well, really easy. Backliner Kjetil picked him up and threw him back into the audience. Yes, THREW. Of course the audience caught him and carried him on their hands; it did look a bit scary though. At least it must have been for his dad who was stuck in the front row. =;-)

There was quite a bit of talk again, much more than in Trondheim, but not much that I remember. In the beginning, Terje pointed out that it would be “jævlig lenge” until they would do a real tour again (nooooo!). Then, before Bak låste dører, he explained that this song was for their old drummer. “He’s not with us anymore …” Shocked faces in the audience. “Uuh, I mean he’s alive! He’s just not with us on stage …”

Obviously, Skambankt didn’t want the concert to end and dragged it out before the last song Stormkast, but still we got only two encores … *pff* Anonyme hatere with lots of middle fingers, and then Min eliksir, where everyone was supposed to get moving once more. Well, if only there was a way to move to that song … *sigh*

Still, it was an awesome ending to an even better concert. It’s cool to see how Skambankt manage to top their concerts again and again … This was amazing. So let’s hope they break their promise to not tour again any time soon!

The setlist:

  • Kald kald natt
  • Skambankt
  • O dessverre
  • Dynasti
  • Slukk meg for eg brenner
  • Som en sirene
  • Voodoo
  • Bak låste dører
  • Vår bør
  • Me sa nei
  • Malin
  • Alarm
  • Mantra
  • Stormkast #1
    ——–
  • Anonyme hatere
  • Min eliksir

17.10.2014 Skambankt (Folken, Stavanger)

October 18th, 2014

It’s definitely awesome to be able to walk to concerts – and even to concerts of Norwegian bands! But … you didn’t really expect me to stop traveling to concerts now, or did you? =;-)

Two Skambankt concerts on one weekend, Friday and Saturday, in Stavanger, with decent hotel prices and affordable flights – what else could you possibly want? Said and done and booked. Finally time for another concert weekend!

As expected, the Friday concert wasn’t sold out. It was added as extra concert after the Saturday concert had been sold out, and such shows tend to be a bit calmer than the “real” concerts. Still, the audience was so much into the show right away! No comparison to Trondheim … singing, dancing, shouting from the second song (Kald kald natt as opener was also received well, but there’s not much the audience can “do” there). So it was clear right from the beginning that this would be a great show with an awesome atmosphere, and that’s just how it turned out!

However, I was really amused by some people in the audience, I gotta admit. That girl in front of me who had obviously been dragged along by her boyfriend – and who spent at least three full songs taking selfies!! One after the other … *argh* Or the girl who suddenly turned up next to me during Voodoo, dancing real hippie-ish and calmly – I mean, she obviously had a lot of fun and I love to see people getting so captured by a concert that they are fully lost in the music and forget everything around them … but when she continued dancing that way during the beginning of Alarm, I couldn’t stop myself from grinning and shaking my head. =;-)

A big thumbs-up to the security that did NOT stop people from having fun this time, like they did the last few times in Trondheim … And a big WTF?!? to all those people who pushed their way to the front just to complain to the security about the big bad guys that were in the crowd dancing and having fun. *rolleyes* Guys, you are at a rock concert. If you don’t like getting pushed, move over to the side, it’s that easy …

But back to the concert. There was much more talk than in Trondheim, but I’m not sure how much I remember …

An awesome thing was of course when Skambankt took the guy who won the guitar competition up on stage so he could play with them on Me sa nei. Okay, maybe Terje should have introduced him as Anders and not as Magnus, but well … alle har me gjort vår del av feil, ikke sant? =;-) Anders played really well, he even got to do the solo in the end, and he managed the “rock” part as well. Awesome! Skambankt definitely picked the right winner there.

Just like they picked the right girl to come up on stage and count in during Alarm! She looked a bit confused in the beginning and didn’t seem to know why she suddenly ended up on stage, but she did a good job and had fun on stage during the remainder of the song.

Terje was glad to talk some English on stage because of some Germans that had traveled to Stavanger for the concerts – “det er ikke ofte me får snakke engelsk på scenen!” Hans-Egil was in “top form” today – “uh, which of course doesn’t mean that you, Tollak or Børge, are not in top form, just that …. uh …” *lol* At some point in time, Terje pointed out the kids on the balcony and stated that now it’s their turn to make music – confused faces in the audience, short cheering and then doubtful looks on the balcony … “Uuh. Are you wondering what I wanted to say here? Actually, I am as well …” *g* But then he did explain that those were the kids from Anders’ school. And finally we got to choose the last song of the encores: either Min eliksir or Panzersjokk. “And if you don’t know either of them, go for the cooler name. So do you want Min eliksir or PANZERSJOKK!!!?” The audience voted wrong, but Skambankt decided right and played Panzersjokk anyway. *yay*

A really fun concert – let’s see if they can top it tomorrow!

The setlist:

  • Kald kald natt
  • Skambankt
  • O dessverre
  • Me sa nei
  • Dynasti
  • Desertør
  • Bak låste dører
  • Voodoo
  • Alarm
  • Vår bør
  • Som en sirene
  • Malin
  • Mantra
  • Stormkast #1
    ——–
  • Anonyme hatere
  • Panzersjokk

10.10.2014 Skambankt (Byscenen, Trondheim)

October 11th, 2014

I think I can get used to that … vorspiel at home, then half an hour stroll down to the center and Byscenen for the Skambankt concert! =:-D

I was really curious how the concert would turn out. I had seen the setlist of the earlier concerts of the tour, and it looked really … interesting. =;-) Starting out with Kald kald natt? No Slukk meg? But some really old songs back in the set?

Also, the concert was far from sold out, just like the concert in Oslo the day before – no surprise if there’s basically no promotion for the concert and the dates aren’t even announced until just before the tour starts … And if there’s just a few people at a concert, you won’t have a great atmosphere. =:-/

Luckily, it turned out it wasn’t as bad as I had feared. We arrived just before Skambankt were about to go on stage, and Byscenen looked crowded. OK, some parts were tarped off, but the room seemed filled. Yay! The atmosphere turned out to be pretty good – no comparison to Samfundet in March, but people were into the concert, moving, singing along, and randomly being reprimanded by the security for dancing. *rolleyes*

As expected, Skambankt started with Kald kald natt – hmm. Not sure if that works so well. I think it’s just too calm and slow to start off the concert, even though the intro with the choir is pretty cool. What I loved though was using Anonyme hatere as first song of the encores – that worked just perfectly! Better than to start of with that song. And they need to start the concert somehow, so I guess Kald kald natt is as good as any song. =;-)

I just LOVED the old songs they included in the set – Desertør, Alarm, and Bak låste dører. It’s been a while since I last heard them live, and I didn’t even realize I’d missed them. But oh yes, I had!! Even though Alarm is a bit tricky because you have to suddenly turn invisible in the middle of the song to prevent being dragged up on stage to count in. =;-) Seemed like the whole audience managed to do that this time, ’cause they didn’t take up anyone. *g* Terje just started the song up again – catching Børge by surprise, so they had to try again.

I had a little “no, come on, they are NOT doing this” moment after Voodoo when they suddenly started playing something that sounded tremendously like … Født på ny. OK, it turned out to be the Vår bør intro, so I guess my mind was just playing tricks on me, ’cause I’ve never heard the similarity before. Even though it would have been ridiculously funny if they had actually played Født på ny. *g*

There was hardly any talk or any “special” interaction apart from screaming Hey and Oh and singing and counting down from 18, so there’s not much more to report here. Skambankt played a tight concert without breaks and pauses. Great fun, awesome seeing them again, and we all got a good dose of rock!

Here’s the full setlist:

  • Kald kald natt
  • Skambankt
  • O dessverre
  • Me sa nei
  • Dynasti
  • Desertør
  • Bak låste dører
  • Alarm
  • Voodoo
  • Vår bør
  • Sort blod
  • Malin
  • Mantra
    ——–
  • Anonyme hatere
  • Stormkast #1

29.-30.08.2014 Verket (Mo i Rana, Norway)

August 31st, 2014
29.-30.08.2014 – Photos Verket (Mo i Rana, Norway)

Verket 14Verket Festival in Mo i Rana – a small town just a few miles south of the Arctic Circle – took place for the sixth time this year. In 2009, I attended the first ever Verket Festival, which was a great experience. Since then, the festival grew from year to year, both in attendance and in the quality of the line up. Time for me to check it out again and find out what has changed!

My first impression was that not much has changed – the festival grounds were still pretty much the same, except that the second stage has become much bigger, and the artists that play there as well! Also, the festival was sold out this year, which means that the area was more crowded, and access to the bars, toilets, and especially food stands required some queuing. But as long as you didn’t want to get a bite to eat just after the co-head on the main stage was finished, the waiting time was fully acceptable. And all in all, I didn’t feel like it was too crowded; most people were staying on the hill in the back, enjoying the view from there, so that there was lots of space in the area in front of the stages.

Verket 14As I noted in 2009 already, the arrangement of the festival grounds is pretty much perfect: the area is sloping down toward the two stages, so that you can sit or stand up on the hill and see everything. You might not even have to move between the two stages; just turn around a bit! The concession stands are located up on the hill, close to the entry and a bit away from the stages (except for one bar to the side, right between the two stages). The only disadvantage this might cause is that lots of people just remain up by the stands throughout the whole evening, while there’s just a few spectators down by the stages. But then, if people aren’t interested in the music, they might as well just stand in the very back. 😉

Still, in my opinion, the most important part of a festival is the music! And the line-up this year was just perfect; lots of well-known Norwegian artists, all in one place. The “big names” for me were Morten Harket and Seigmen on Friday and Bernhoft and Skambankt on Saturday, but also Silya, Veronica Maggio, Satyricon, and Åge & Sambandet were clearly drawing people to the festival. Verket really managed to book a wide variety of artists – and as the festival was sold out, they obviously got something for everybody!

Friday, August 29

Verket 14The first festival day held quite a few surprises for me. I had heard most of the names on the line up before, but I hadn’t seen any of them live yet. And it turned out that I was positively surprised by almost all of them!

Morten Harket as first artist of the night was probably the one that held the least surprises for me. He delivered a very professional and captivating concert – just as I had expected. The sound was terrific, and both music and singing were perfect. Plus, he knows how to play to an audience! I was surprised that he was booked as the first artist of the festival; but in hindsight, that was a pretty smart move to get people to come out to the festival early. It worked; the festival grounds were already filled when Morten Harket came out. However, what surprised me was that most people were hanging out in the back and didn’t really care about the concert. When asked to clap along, only very few people in the front joined in, everybody else just ignored it … Still, a really nice opening concert.

Next up were Hjerteslag on the smaller stage. I hadn’t heard of them, but the host Asbjørn Slettemark introduced them as the “new big thing”, who played a fantastic gig at by:Larm (for the few who were lucky enough to get in). Verket 14And: true! That was pretty awesome. Melodic punk (or punky pop?) with Norwegian lyrics, songs that were easy to pick up, and quite some energy on stage. I had the feeling that they still need to work a bit on their live show though; it got better and better throughout the concert, but it didn’t feel quite natural yet, and they didn’t seem too comfortable on stage. This of course is a big drawback. But the music and the songs were great, so Hjerteslag is definitely a band to remember!

The next big surprise awaited me on the main stage right afterwards. I’ve been living in Norway for only a month, so I had no idea who Silya is … “Stjernekamp” sounds a lot like Star Search or Idol to me, so I expected some nice and pretty pop star. Silya, however, came out to a huge production with full band including a brass section, all in costume, and delivered a full show, not just a concert. Her songs were cover songs presented in her own style and fashion, and of course, she managed to capture the audience right away. For me personally, it all seemed like a big show and not so much like a whole-hearted performance, but it was definitely entertaining, and much more fun than what I had expected. And the audience seemed to really wake up for the first time that night; which of course is understandable when everybody knows all the songs.

Verket 14Deathcrush were the next band on the second stage, and they didn’t really get the attention they would have deserved. Two girls on guitar and bass, one drummer, all singing – or rather screaming? Lots of energy on stage, and definitely the “punkiest” band of the night. But people were more busy drinking and talking, and hardly anybody gathered in front of the small stage, which was quite a pity.

I had expected it to get much more crowded in front of the stage for the Seigmen concert, but actually it didn’t fill up much more than for the other concerts; except for the first few rows of course. Still, Seigmen delivered a fantastic show! I’ve known them for quite a while, but never managed to see them live, so they managed to surprise me completely. Judging by their music, I had expected them to be really distant, hardly talk to the audience, and play their songs without much interaction, captivating the audience by their presence alone. However, they were quite talkative on stage, not offish at all, but really nice guys. They kept pointing out how nice the festival was, and how sorry they are they haven’t been up in Mo i Rana for so long. Of course the old hits were the ones that the audience was waiting for, and the atmosphere was awesome, but Seigmen also played some new stuff. And while – again – there were less people actually interested in the concert than I had expected, those that were following along with what was happening on stage were really entertained, and for me, the concert was definitely the best one of the night!

Verket 14I’m not quite sure why Seigmen were not the headliner of the evening – for me, they definitely were! So the two remaining bands, Team Me on the small stage and Veronica Maggio had a rather hard time really capturing my attention. Both surprised me – Team Me played a really energetic rock show and Veronica Maggio’s concert was so much more varied than I had expected. And I think that I would have loved both their concerts if they had taken place earlier in the night; but by that time, it had turned quite cold and 99% of the audience were completely drunk, so that made it hard to really get into the concerts. A pity, but still a big thumbs up for great shows!

For me, the only drawback of the first festival day was the crowd. I had the feeling that hardly anybody was there for the music – which is common at Norwegian festivals. But if the line up is so amazing as at Verket, you should at least try to check out some of the concerts?! But no, either people were keeping all to the back without cheering, clapping, or even listening to what was going on at all, or they were completely drunk already at 5:30 pm and couldn’t manage to stand upright, let alone walk without bumping into someone. I’ve seen quite a few Norwegian festivals, but this seemed worse than usual. They don’t even know what great concerts they missed …

Saturday, August 30: Underverket

Verket 14The Saturday started with a special concert for those under 18: Underverket. In bright sunshine, families picnicked out on the hill, while their teenage daughters gathered in front of the stage to see Isac Elliot, a teeny star from Finland. Verket festival had announced beforehand that no queuing would be allowed before 8 a.m. (!) – that gives an impression of how crazy the kids were for that concert!

And yes, crazy is probably the right word for it; but in a positive way! I almost gave up on the idea to get to the front to take some photos – it was just impossible to get through, so many kids were crowded in in front of the stage. And everyone was really excited, singing along every single word. The securities were busy throughout the whole concert, but they knew their job and kept everyone safe. The only crying was obviously caused by the guy on stage. 😉

Verket 14He actually took up one girl to give her a hug, and she was fully in a daze afterwards. And when he went down in the aisle to greet the first rows, all the kids went completely crazy.

So, adults – I don’t expect the same maniac behavior, but maybe a bit of excitement and enthusiasm for the artists wouldn’t hurt. The kids really made this concert special, and I’m sure they won’t forget it any time soon!

Saturday, August 30

Verket 14The main festival day started a few hours later, still in bright sunshine. The festival weather really couldn’t have been much better! While it was still a bit cloudy the first day, we got blue skies and sun until it got dark on Saturday. Both days it got quite chilly at night, but that was to be expected so far north. And no rain, yay!

I missed the opener AWAY and arrived during Ane Brun‘s concert. She delivered a nice and calm opening concert – nice and relaxing, but maybe a bit too slow to really capture the audience. Again, the festival filled up nicely already, even though it was still early in the evening, but people were gathering in the back and enjoying the sun on the hill.

All in all, it looked like the audience was a bit older than on Friday. Just like the day before, the line up offered a lot of variation, but Åge & Sambandet obviously attracted people of all ages, which gave a nice mixture. And unlike on Friday, the audience seemed a bit more interested in the music. Still far from enthusiastic (except for the headliner 😉 ), but at least listening and applauding.

Verket 14Next up was Kaveh, a rapper from Oslo, on the smaller stage. His target audience was clearly the younger generation, which had gathered in front of the stage. Unlike usually, Kaveh had to perform all alone, because his DJ had missed his flight. That’s the problem with festivals so far out; there’s no “next flight” that would still get you there in time. 😉 Still, he managed just fine, and after a few songs and what looked like quite hard work to get the audience excited, he managed to get them to go along. Only the first couple of rows, but those were really into the concert then, and it was fun to see how they loved the show. And when in the end, Kaveh asked some people to get up on the stage with him, he had obviously won. Hard work, but a great show!

I’ve seen Jarle Bernhoft quite a few times, mostly as “one man band” as support for Kaizers Orchestra, but also with his festival show with a full band. I enjoyed the single shows much more, so I was really pleased when I saw that this festival show would be only Bernhoft, alone with all his machines. His songs are really captivating, and seeing him piece them together by recording sounds and loops, one after the other, until he “simulates” a full band is just awesome. And it seemed like the audience was really appreciating this! It got quite crowded in the front, and people were dancing and singing along. It was a bit of a pity though that he didn’t use his full time slot but stopped 20 minutes early.

Verket 14Montée had a really hard time following that on the small stage – especially since they were still in the middle of their soundcheck when Bernhoft was done and thus couldn’t continue right away. Still, when they started, there were quite a few people in front of the stage. My first impression was that their music, danceable rock, and the songs were really nice and catchy, but that nothing was happening on stage – which is always a bit of a problem, especially for bands that are not widely known and don’t have huge hits. And just as feared: People stayed for the first two, three songs and then started wandering off in search for food, drinks, and toilets. Where there were huge queues at that time … and Montée played for hardly anyone.

That’s a problem that Skambankt did not have; people were back in place in front of the main stage when Skambankt came on. They delivered a really good rock show – read my full report about their concert on skambankt.konzertjunkie.com – but it was obvious that everyone except for the first couple of rows in the front was waiting for Åge. They did clap a bit, but that was about it. They didn’t seem to understand what a Wall of Death was supposed to be, they didn’t sing along (not even “ohohoh” parts), and they didn’t really get excited. However, full props to Skambankt for delivering a really energetic show anyway!

Verket 14Skambankt were followed by another great live band on the small stage: Satyricon. However, like Skambankt, their target audience did not necessarily comply with Åge’s target audience … They did gather quite a crowd and everyone in front of the stage was really enthusiastic and into the show. They were held back a bit by the securities whenever the moshing got too wild; something that did not sit well with the band. So they allowed the audience to do whatever they wanted and ignore the guys with the flashlights. 😉 And when the singer mentioned that his dad had actually worked at “Verket” – the factory above the festival area – and that he’s here now to work at Verket as well (just in a slightly different manner), he had finally won over the audience! At least the small faction of the audience that was into the concert at the small stage and not just waiting for Åge … Everyone else got more and more annoyed as Satyricon continued their concert. And continued their concert. And continued, and continued, way past their allowed time slot. The stage managers were very clear in their messages to the band – but they did not cut the electricity. So Satyricon continued 17 minutes past Åge’s start time, and while they were still on stage waving their good-byes, the announcer already called the audience to the big stage.

Verket 14The atmosphere during the concert of Åge & Sambandet was then really really special. A HUGE crowd in the front (it did actually look a bit like Underverket! 😮 ), a very mixed audience of all ages, and everyone excited and singing along every word. Add to that a well attuned band on stage that does not only stare at their shoes but delivers a show as well, and songs that everyone in the audience knows. That’s the kind of atmosphere that I was waiting for the whole festival!

But then, the part that “everyone in the audience” knew the songs was not quite true, because there was one girl from Germany that did not know any of the songs, was cold, and had a train to catch at seven in the morning, so she decided to skip the second hour of Åge’s show and get on her way back to the hotel … and thus she missed it when Åge & Sambandet turned into Åge & Skambandet and Skambankt came up on stage to play in one of the songs. *argh* Sounds like an awesome mixture, and a great way to end the festival – and since Verket is one of the last Norwegian festivals, also the festival season for most bands!

Verket 14All in all, Verket was a really great festival with an amazing line up of bands and some really good and entertaining concerts. I noticed a few good bands that I will check out further and keep track of what they are doing – mostly Hjerteslag, but also Deathcrush, Kaveh, and Montée. The festival itself is organized very well; you’ll always have some queues, and if you got your food, drink, or toilet break at the right time, you hardly had to wait at all. At other times, it was really bad though, but that’s impossible to prevent. The area is perfect for a festival of this size, and it’s just a fifteen minute walk away from the center of the town.

The festival is clearly aimed at locals, as Mo i Rana is quite difficult to get to. That makes it really impressive to see that the festival was actually sold out! That means that the locals are coming and supporting the festival! While this itself is a really good thing, I got the impression of “bygdefest” quite often – and that was a pity considering the awesome line up and the quality of the bands playing there. If everyone is there to see just one band and get drunk otherwise, it would maybe be sufficient to hire just that one band and not frustrate any other bands that hardly anybody cares about … But who knows. Maybe I’m mistaken and some people in the audience did actually discover new, interesting music. Because in my opinion, THIS is the main purpose of a festival, and getting wasted is just a fun side effect. 😉

Verket 14