So, what’s the first thing you do after you return from three weeks of vacation in the US? Right. First, you spend two days finishing the translations of the Kaizers lyrics, collecting Kaizer news, and getting everything online, and then you get on a plane to Norway (to be there for a total of twelve hours), for the release party. That’s totally normal for a concert junkie. So if this report should sound strange or weird at places, blame it on the jet lag and the all-night party. That might be the reason. =;-)
Anyway. At first, nobody had a clue where the concert would take place – but in the end, everyone with a ticket or a spot on the guest list managed to find their way through. Even though I didn’t get to Oslo until the evening, we found the time for a fast vorspiel – and a little hint, just in case you want to know: always time your Kaizer vodka shots so that everyone pours them down right during the line “Aldri drikk vodka, Violeta!” =;-) Then it was time to venture out to Månefisken. I had never even heard of that venue, but the first impression was positive: not too big, but still a real concert hall with a stage. The stage itself was rather low and in a corner, so not the best view; but then, the hall wasn’t overcrowded, so there wasn’t a problem to find a nice place with decent view. But it was just too dark to take pictures …
The night started with a short introduction by the record label boss and then with the Jackal, alone on the piano. He wanted to lead us through the process of how a Kaizers song comes into being. Step one: At home in his kitchen, at the piano, with coffee and tea, and with Tusen dråper regn! Right from the start, the audience was hot and everyone was singing along loudly. The Jackal was excited: “Wow, 400 spectators in my kitchen, what a great atmosphere!”
After the opening song, the Jackal asked the man with the “magic hands” up on stage. According to the Jackal, his hands have been elected the most beautiful male hands in all of Hordaland: Omen! Which is the next step in creating a Kaizers song … the Jackal gives the song into the hands of the pianist. And in this version, we got to hear Hjerteknuser. Or actually, not only did we get to hear it, but we also got to sing. =;-)
Next up was the “newest band member”, and at the same time the oldest: Thunder. He’s been with Kaizers for a long time, but anyway, he will still be “the new one” when Kaizers are on stage at the age of 100. And he will be 102 then. *g* We got to hear a premiere now, because during “Din kjole lukter bensin, mor”, it wasn’t Hellraizer this time who got to sing a duet with the Jackal, but it was Thunder. The first two songs didn’t really hold any surprises in the piano version, because we’ve heard that version before; but this was really something new. If you’ve seen this song performed live with the whole band before, you’re just so used to where and how to clap – and suddenly, this doesn’t really fit anymore! But the song worked great in this version as well, and the audience sang along loudly.
Then it was time to bring in the rest of the band! While Hellraizer, after arriving on stage, noticed: “Oh, I forgot my guitar!”, the Jackal explained to us that they are an extremely rhythmic band. And that’s why they have a drummer – okay, he’s not so great when it comes to being rhythmic, but he’s doing his best!
The next song was Philemon Arthur and the Dung, and the Jackal almost didn’t have to sing himself anymore. The audience was ready, and was waiting intensely for the new songs – actually, everyone was so excited that we didn’t want to miss a thing. “Admit it; everyone needs to go pee, but you don’t dare to, because right then we’ll play THE song!” THE song was Drøm videre, Violeta. And even though you should assume that if there are so many hardcore fans in the audience, the big hit doesn’t draw such a big reaction, it did; the atmosphere was amazing, and the choir was incredibly loud. You see, I’m talking in superlatives, but it was really obvious how everyone in the venue knew all songs by heart, and of course this makes a difference. Not necessarily a difference to the positive – the more die hard fans, the more critical an audience tends to be as well. But in this case, there really wasn’t a lot to complain about. And despite all the tension and the unusual situation, the Jackal guided us through the evening very entertainingly.
And now it was finally time for the songs from Vol. III: “Let’s start calmly, so that those who cannot handle this can get to the back.” First up was Aldri vodka, Violeta – and I gotta admit, I don’t really remember anything specific about the live version. Which probably means that it was pretty close to the album version and didn’t contain any huge surprises. I really love that song, and I loved it live as well, and after the – again – really loud singing of the audience in the end, the Jackal claimed that this was the most moving moment ever for him on stage and that he even had tears in his eyes. Well, I would guess that the moments when he was actually crying his eyes out on stage have been even more moving than that, but in any case, it was awesome!
The second song from Vol. III was Siste dans, which works perfectly live (even though it was a bit hard for me to sing “la la la” in the end instead of “It’s a hard knock life”… uhem. *g*), and last up was the Jackal’s personal favorite, Forlover. I might have to give that song a few more rounds, but up to now, it’s definitely not my favorite, and it also didn’t grow on me in the live version, compared to the album version. The bridge part that is played by the orchestra in the recording was done by the band – first Killmaster played a two-part guitar solo (and seemed slightly overwhelmed by the task, but well, there’s time enough to practice *g*), then Thunder played a bass solo, and finally Omen and the Jackal did a four-handed piano part. Definitely impressive!
And with that, the concert was over already … well, except if we want some encores? OF COURSE we did, and we got them – first KGB, then Støv og sand (because there is an unwritten rule in rock music that every concert must contain some blues), and then, as conclusion, the song that made them: Ompa til du dør. And here, after all the praise and excitement, time for a bit of criticism: Uh, what? Release concert? I hadn’t heard the album yet, and I had hoped to hear at least one completely new song at the concert, instead of those “oldies” as encore?
I mean, I can totally understand it – the new songs are terribly complex, so it probably takes quite a while to manage to play and perform them right. But maybe Kaizers could have played more songs in the first part; maybe two songs of the Jackal alone on the piano, then two with Omen, and two with Thunder – that way, they wouldn’t have had to practice so terribly much more, but we would have gotten more new stuff. But then, on the other hand, the conclusion with all the well-known hits was perfect as well. Difficult to say …
All in all, it was a great concert, even though it was rather short. But in the end, it wasn’t really a concert, but “only” a release party. And the very unique audience definitely made up for that!
After the show, it was great meeting up with everyone again, lots of other fans who came to the show, one or another drink, walking all across Oslo in the middle of the night, a bit of a nachspiel, until I had to get on my way back to the airport around 4:30 … The whole trip was way too short, but it was so much fun! THANKS to everyone, you know who you are, it was awesome! =:-)