24-25.08.2012 Periferifestivalen (Glesvær)

Friday, August 31st, 2012
24-25.08.2012 – Photos Periferifestivalen (Glesvær)

Report: Torger Münzel

PeriferifestivalenThe festival season is nearly over, so one cannot be choosy where to go on a festival. Nearly last chance to see Kaizers: Periferifestivalen! But limiting the festival down to this, indeed excellent, concert would be a mistake, for it was quite some more.

Periferifestivalen is a very small festival, situated in Glesvær on the island Sotra, about 45 minutes drive southwest of Bergen. It was sold out, which meant that roughly 2500 people were there each day. The festival area was situated right within the dockside of the little fisher village, with fisher houses to the left and right, two lovely cafes and a boathouse, which made up one of the coziest venues I’ve ever seen (and they didn’t clean up much before…).

The main area had plenty of space though and was decorated with buoys hanging from the trees. There was no festival camping, but some visitors came by boat and there was, as far as I could see it, quite a party going on in the harbor. The weather was very good (Friday) and typically West-Norwegian (Saturday). Periferifestivalen is a unique and small festival, with a very intimate & friendly atmosphere.

Friday, August 24th

PeriferifestivalenThe festival started on Friday with just a handful of people showing up for Anja Viken. It seemed that many had decided to enjoy the good weather just a little more and thus missed this show. These people missed a performance that I personally enjoyed a lot. Anja Viken plays some decent Norwegian pop/rock, somehow reminding me of Avril Lavigne (which is rather a compliment for Avril than for Anja, I guess). The faster songs instantly made you bopping along while you could concentrate on Anja’s voice during the slower ones. The young Norwegian seemed to be rather shy with the audience, but that’s perfectly understandable when you have to open up a festival (and no one seems to take interest yet). Anja Viken was a pleasant surprise to start with and some of their songs (especially “Gatekredibilitet” and “Klæssar deg ned”) stuck in my head for quite some time.

PeriferifestivalenAfter that I decided to go into the boathouse to watch at least some minutes of Stein og Mari, who played in a jazzy, blues, folk-music style. What I experienced then was a very unique concert. The duo managed to create an intense atmosphere, in which Mari’s voice merged beautiful with whatever instrument her partner just played (he changed a lot from guitar to mandolin, other string instruments and even to a zither in the end). But sometimes the songs were nearly too slow and quiet. So you could not only literally hear a pin drop, but even whenever somebody in the audience got a text message you could hear that very well, too. A very interesting and beautiful concert in the boathouse nevertheless and, what I didn’t know at the time, it was the only concert of the evening programs in the boat house where I was able to get in. The 200-300 spare places were usually taken long before a band started, and the queues outside were very long.

PeriferifestivalenNext on the list was Lars Vaular, a rapper from Bergen, Spellemanspris winner, and, as many told me, the real co-headliner on Friday. He was eagerly awaited by his fans, and the main stage was packed for the first time. I’m not a big fan of rap music, but I have to admit that he got some catchy songs and the crowd, now containing mostly the younger parts of the audience, was enthusiastic. At least after Vaular played “Eg e fra Bergen” as third song (Some local patriotism had not harmed any artist, did it?), he had the hands up in the air and the crowd on his side. Vaular belongs to the gangsta rap genre, but the Norwegian version of that is far away from what is known from MTV. To me he seemed like a very nice, modest and likeable guy, and he and his fellow musicians obviously had some fun on stage. Especially Tarjei Strøm on the drums delivered quite a show as well. When the concert was over, the fans demanded Vaular’s  hit single “Solbriller på” (and of course did not get it, as only the headliners were entitled to play encores) for some minutes before the crowd scattered.

PeriferifestivalenI missed the next concert in the boathouse and decided to have a beer instead. While enjoying it, I got to know some Norwegians that were pretty undecided on the question “is the next band famous?”. (Quote: “Well you could know them if you knew Norwegian music well, but you really do not have to… They are kind of local heroes from the Bergen area, you know?”) They taught me that the next band, Jan Olav Nilsen & Gjengen, was mainly known for their kline-låt songs (make out songs). Well that seemed to be enough to fill up most of the space in front of the stage, but the atmosphere was kind of quiet and not so enthusiastic as you might think that it should be while the co-headliner performs. (And I did not see any people making out, thank God!) To me, Jan Olav Nilsen & Gjengen had a strong 80ies touch and reminded me a bit of The Cure there and a bit of U2 (80ies U2 that is, of course) here. It was a nice decent concert and many people enjoyed it, but there was not that jumping and celebrating that Kaizers or DumDum Boys managed to pull off. But maybe the audience wanted just to spare some energy for Kaizers Orchestra. 😉

With Kaizers, the first day of Periferifestivalen found a perfect ending. The report on them by Susi can be found on I just have to add that Kaizers is the only band that gives me a smile on my face from the very first second of the intro until two or three days later, come what may…

Saturday, August 25th

PeriferifestivalenThe second day in Glesvær was divided into a day program, which was especially intended to be for families, and a night program, with Sivert Høyem and the DumDum Boys being the headliners.

After some improv in the boathouse (which was funny but would have probably been funnier if I had understood more Norwegian than I actually do), the first band to see was Jens Brun & De Hattmakers. They are a band for kids (and their parents) that plays classical pop/soul/funk songs, but rewrites the lyrics to make them more suitable for children. So James Brown’s “Sex Machine” became Kjeksmaskin (cookie machine), for example. I watched the Norwegian Raffi for some time and the kids loved it (or were told so, by their parents), but after 15 minutes of soul & funk I decided that I was either too young or too old for this and gladly turned my attention to the boathouse and the three young bands that were supposed to play there, each of them getting 15 minutes of time.

PeriferifestivalenIn the boathouse, I saw three very interesting concerts that I enjoyed a lot. Although all three bands being rock bands, they differed very much. Opening up were No Fuel, obviously the youngest of the three bands. The singer definitely is a future rock star to be, knowing how to entertain a stage. It didn’t matter to him that the audience, which seemed to consist mainly of parents and relatives, was seated and was probably not really knowing what was coming at it. No Fuel’s singer jumped around, high-fived the front row and just spread energy and a good mood. A very refreshing concert, and it was not a problem that the rock/punk rock played by No Fuel had some horrible transitions and other flaws since you should expect that from such a young band. Keep on rocking guys, you’re on the right track!

After three songs, No Fuel made way for Hvitmalt Gjerde. Susi and I had quite a discussion about that concert, as I found them to be really good, while Susi kind of disliked the behavior of the singer and the band. Musically it was a bit like Chuck Berry meeting Oasis. The singer was very energetic and conveyed a good rock’n’roll vibe. But while he was completely freaking out, the rest of the band seemed either bored or annoyed (or just nervous?). I think nevertheless that Hvitmalt Gjerde with their ability to sound 60ies and modern at the same time did an incredibly good job.

PeriferifestivalenThe last band in the boathouse was Grandma’s Tea Party, whom I liked from the beginning, as the first thing they did was to put some nice decoration on the stage (some flowers, tea, pictures and a cupboard – well they call themselves Grandma’s Tea Party for a reason!). The band appeared dressed up neatly in early 20th century style, that just brought some coolness on the stage naturally. Grandma’s Tea Party played some very decent indie rock, supported by a very good guitarist (who at one stage climbed the cupboard to play a solo. And guitarists climbing things are very well welcomed among Kaizers fans). It was catchy and musically flawless. The only thing you could criticize was the singer, who was just too shy and even too quiet for the music played around him. But maybe it was still the impression of the screaming Hvitmalt Gjerde singer, what led me to that conclusion.

PeriferifestivalenI only took a swift look at Sgt. Petter med Band, which played some Southern Rock and had a tambourine player whose role in the band remained a mystery to me. But maybe we just came during the wrong song. It started to rain while they were playing, and nearly immediately, rain capes were offered by a nice old man walking around the main stage. (Big “Thumps up!” for that.) As it started to rain and as we were not too excited by what we heard anyway, we decided to go for a coffee break in the lovely café. With Sgt. Petter med Band, the day program ended and everybody had to leave the festival area for an hour. I passed the hour lying on the rocks above Glesvær harbor, dozing away to the sounds of the party taking place on the boats lying in the harbor. The fact that good old Freddie Mercury was played there with great endurance and loudness made it clear that the audience warming up for tonight’s concerts was notably older than yesterday.

PeriferifestivalenHaving really dozed away, I came too late to see Solveig Slettahjell, who played in the boathouse. But while I was waiting, Marit Larsen and her band were performing their sound check on the main stage, right in front of the handful of spectators who happened to be around by accident. I found it to be very interesting to see such a sound check (some of the songs got played for up to two minutes), and Marit Larsen, who either played guitar or piano, was smiling all the time, so she might have enjoyed it as well. After nearly half an hour she finished, went off the stage, just to get on again 10 minutes later. As it was still early in the day (6 pm), there were not as many people as I expected to be, but the ones who were there were very easily caught by Marit Larsen, her neat pop songs and the joy she and her band had on stage. Marit Larsen, best known for her hit “If a song could get me you”, is the Norwegian Queen of Pop, who plays radio-suitable, romantic pop songs. Though that might not be very unique, it is the joy and excitement that Marit Larsen conveys that made this concert special. You could see teenage boys, wearing some party shirts, dreaming away in the first row, enchanted by the music and Marit Larsen. There were a lot of smiling faces in the audience (notably male), and the whole gig was just very likable.

PeriferifestivalenNext on the main stage was Magnet, which is the pseudonym of Bergen singer and songwriter Even Johansen. The festival guide recommended him as “having invented an own genre by himself”. That’s kind of true, but unfortunately I found that genre to be pretty boring. There is not much happening on- or off-stage during his performance, and the songs somehow tend to sound all alike. His folk/rock/song-writer music, with some electronic influence here and there, had some great lyrics and he created an intense wall of sound from time to time, but the last explosion, the last little bit to make a song exciting, was always missing. That did of course not bother the fans in the first few rows, who were enthusiastically waving signs and were cheering along. The rest of the crowd though reacted rather cool and was even irritated when Johansen imitated Janove Ottesen and the Kaizers-Halleluja scream. (I still do not know if that was supposed to be some mockery or some serious effort.) Halfway through the concert, I decided to go the boathouse to wait for Stein Torleif Bjella, but as many others also had this idea, the queue was already way too long. (There were even still more than hundred people queuing an hour later, when the Stein Torleif Bjella concert was supposed to finish in five minutes.) So I followed some more minutes of the Magnet concert, before we decided to have some pancakes in the warmth of the cafe and to wait for Sivert Høyem. In the café we came to talk to a nice Norwegian couple which was also very much looking forward to see Sivert. The big question that arose was “Will he play some old Madrugada songs?”, and we both were pretty sure that he probably wouldn’t. Well how wrong we were!

PeriferifestivalenSince after some very weird intro (feat. German Krautrockers Amon Düül II, from the 70ies) and two rather unspectacular songs, Sivert Høyem played “Look away Lucifer”, which gave the whole concert a new direction. Before that, it seemed the crowd was reserved, maybe hoping for Madrugada songs but not knowing what to expect. After a first Madrugada song, it feeled like everybody was relieved and now able to really enjoy the concert. In the end, Høyem played three Madrugada songs, cleverly inserted at times when the mood of the crowd was lowering. Before “Majesty”, which was just magnificent and very well received, having all of the audience singing along, he sent away his band, explaining that the next song would be too difficult for them to play. After a very long and wild applause after “Majesty”, Sivert had a big smile on his face, which he kept from then on, throughout the entire show. “The kids are on high street” was the 3rd Madrugada song played, also wildly received by the crowd. But though he played these songs (and the crowd loved him for that), this was not a Madrugada concert and Høyem’s own songs, notably “Into the sea” or “Moon Landing”, led also to big singing and shouting. He performed with such an energy that it was really a pleasure to watch, and his incredible voice sounds better than ever. Høyem was supported by some of the finest Norwegian musicians (festival guide wrote: supergroup!) amongst others Catu Salsa on guitar and Christer Knutsen on guitar/keyboard.

PeriferifestivalenEspecially the latter made quite an interesting appearance. Musically absolutely brilliant he switched between keyboards and guitar and contributed a lot to the strong sound of the band. But being real rock’n’roll he looked pretty spaced out during most times of the concert and staggered across the stage during others. He definitely does not look healthy anymore…

Anyway, Sivert’s and his band’s performance on Periferi was great and you could also feel and see how pleased they were about this performance themselves. After the last song (“Red on maroon”), which he sang on his knees and with the microphone stand being thrown down the aisle, Sivert was smiling, bowing and waving and looked pretty happy. And so was I.

PeriferifestivalenThe honor to close the festival was given to the DumDum Boys, a true Norwegian institution difficult to compare with anything else. But after some thinking it seemed to us that every country has its own DumDum Boys: one hard rock/rock/punk band that has been there since 25+ years and has songs everybody knows since they were a little child. (In Germany this would suit for “Die Toten Hosen”.) Somebody told me: “They are a, no, THE partyband.” The concert and the music, which was probably the more entertaining the better you spoke Norwegian, was not entirely to my liking, as I thought some of the songs to be rather weak and monotonous. But the reaction the band had on the rest of the crowd was tremendous. Everybody, from teenager to grandma (yep, I had two lovely grandmas dancing next to me) was singing along, and especially the generation 40+ was really having a blast. From the very first row till the last people sitting on the green next to the FOH, everybody was shouting and singing to the well-known lyrics. The singer performed a classical rock show including all the hard rock poses one can imagine. He tore down his shirt to the end of the regular set, just to come with a new shirt to the encores, when he tore it down again. As I said before, the people really loved it and many said to me afterwards, that that was one of the best concerts they had seen in years. So although not my personal favorite, the DumDum Boys were a great last band for the festival and left everybody very happy.

PeriferifestivalenSo after two days out in the Norwegian wild we set sail southwards again (would be lovely to actually really come by boat – next time…). Tired but happy. Periferifestivalen was a wonderful experience, with friendly people, some very nice bands, an absolutely unique venue in the boathouse and a very lovely festival area in the middle of the village.

24-25.08.2012 – Photos Periferifestivalen (Glesvær)

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
24-25.08.2012 – Photos Periferifestivalen (Glesvær)

18+19.11.2011 Sonny (Stavanger)

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Actually, I didn’t really plan on writing another report this weekend, and this one won’t be that long either (note after finishing: muahaha… *lol*). But I guess I can come up with a few sentences about the “fan weekend” after all!

First of all, as a short explanation: Yes, I saw the play four times now. And yes, that IS a lot – it wasn’t really planned like that, however. Originally, I had planned to see it twice in order to be able to really understand it. But then, there was the choice between the weekend with the premiere and the fan weekend, and different people bought the tickets – so each bought two tickets of course, because we wanted to see it twice, right? =;-) And hey, no doubt: best decision ever! I had been a bit skeptical beforehand… four times is a lot. But no, the play was so impressive and great that I would love to see it even more often! Actually, I’m currently looking at the Oslo dates, trying to figure out if I can somehow squeeze in one of the dates there… =;-)

What was really interesting to see was how much the shows differed. Of course, everything that happened was exactly the same each day – but there were small differences in the details. There were some things that you just didn’t notice every time, and others that were a little bit different every time! Also the wording of what the actors said differed quite a bit, which is something I hadn’t expected. And what I found particularly impressive was how sometimes, you suddenly saw something completely new on stage, even though it had been the same (presumably) during all other shows before, but you just didn’t notice at all. So I got to see some new stuff also during my fourth visit! Plus, there were so many small details that you might have noticed before, but suddenly you understood that they actually do have a meaning after all. For example (SPOILER WARNING!), Monello dies in Djevelens Orkester when Lucifer blows her breath in his face. Vicente, however, survives – why doesn’t she kill him as well? Well… he’s still wearing his gas mask, while Monello lost it! Or the rosary that Victoria gives to Sonny in the beginning and which obviously protects him from Lucifer resp. death, until he throws it at Victoria’s feet – and is shot two seconds later.

Another interesting part was that there are obviously “good” and “bad” shows. The second fan show was much worse in quality than the other shows – no idea why, but some jokes and some parts with important content were quite unclear and didn’t get as much focus as during other shows. This didn’t hurt the overall impression at all; but I thought it was interesting to see how much you notice something like that when you’ve seen other shows before. But what was really impressive, in turn, was the audience’s reaction after the fan shows. I mean, the audience at the premiere was really enthusiastic, but this time: Wow! Of course, that was an audience that is used to concerts. So they didn’t just clap, but scream as well. And overall it was so much louder than at the other shows – and you could see that in the reaction of the actors as well. They seemed totally blown away – so nice! =:-)

So, now a bit about the special parts of the fan show: On both nights before the play started, Helge came on stage and played the piano for a bit until Tore Renberg, Geir Zahl, and Vegar Hoel (Sonny) joined him on staged and were interviewed by Jan Zahl. Guess there’s no reason to mentioned that on the second night, Tore banged shut the stage door just when Geir was about to come out… uh, oops, too late to not mention it.*g*
This interview was definitely really entertaining! It was a bit more “formal” the first night and much funnier and more relaxed the second night. Contentwise, there wasn’t really a lot of new information, but it still was very interesting! Even though most answers didn’t really contain clear statements – for example, Geir has no clue how the Kaizers universe actually came about (“There’s only one man who knows, and he’s not here.”); the history and all in all most decisions about the play just “happened” somehow, in a cooperation between Tore and Kaizers, and there was no clear structure who was responsible for what. Tore, as fan of the band, pretty fast got a good idea about what especially Janove wanted to see in the play; mainly, it should contain the three parts of war/resistance, mafia, and “after the war” (which is quite logical, since these are what the three albums are about, respectively). Of course it was a risk for Kaizers to give control of the play into someone else’s hands, but it wasn’t too bad, since they knew Tore as a fan and they could contribute quite a bit. In addition, they recorded the music, and the actors took over the singing only. After Tore delivered the play, it still changed quite a bit of course when the actors started working with it.

After that, it was time for questions from the audience – on the first night, Jan caught the audience off-guard with that so there were hardly any questions. Of course I was prepared the second night… and Jan asked exactly the question I wanted to ask, almost word by word, as the first “official” question. No fair! *lol* Basically a chicken/egg question: Did they decide beforehand which songs should be included, or was it the story that came first, and then they used the songs that fit in? Again, the answer was somewhere in the middle; there were a few songs that HAD to be in the play, of course, but there were some songs as well that they wanted to use but just couldn’t fit in.

In the end, there was a bit of kidding with Helge (who of course did NOT answer the question he was asked), and then it was time to start the play! On the first night, Helge and Geir were in the audience to watch again, before they signed programs and posters for the randomly selected winners during the break. The second night, they disappeared right after the interview. That and the fact that Janove wasn’t there at all (even though that was promised when the tickets were sold) was criticized by some fans. And rightfully so – even though it was absolutely understandable as well that Janove deserves a free weekend once in a while and that Geir and Helge might not be so enthusiastic about everyone flooding them with autograph and photo requests… still, that wasn’t really “fair”, because it was advertised differently.

We didn’t mind at all though. These were the fan shows, so there were so many many nice people there which we finally got to meet again (hey, the last tour was more than a half year ago already! *gg*), and of course we concluded the night at Cementen. The result: A huge part of the Kaizer fan family in one place, lots of discussions about the play, first plans for the upcoming tour, and of course a lot of old stories and joking around. Hach… soooooo nice! =:-)

11+12.11.2011 Sonny (Stavanger)

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

11/11/11 – St. Kaizers Day, or something like that! Apart from the new album and the Spektrum DVD, the Kaizers musical “Sonny” celebrated its premiere, and I definitely couldn’t miss out on that of course… here’s my report!
Now, I’ve written so many concert reviews – but how do you write about a musical? Well, maybe I should first note that I will stick to the term “musical”, even though Kaizers keep calling it “music theatre”. But I don’t really see the difference there… =;-)

I went into the show with high expectations, but with expectations that were probably impossible NOT to fulfill. I love musicals, I love Kaizers, so nothing could go wrong here. =;-) And that’s just how it turned out: I was absolutely flashed afterwards, totally impressed and amazed! However, I was very very glad to see the play two days in a row, because after the first time, I was quite “overwhelmed”. I can’t really say how much of this was due to the language and how much to the story; unfortunately, that’s hard for me to separate. Regarding the language, I was surprised how much I actually understood – in fact I got almost everything except for a few small skirmishes and jokes, but as long as there was only one person talking, I had no problem understanding – despite (or maybe because of? *g*) the west coast dialect. And of course the songs were familiar anyway (even though I have to admit that the lyrics of the old songs are the ones I know least, since I didn’t know Norwegian back then). However, the play involved a huge number of people and characters, which you had to recognize and keep apart, and there was a lot of story to keep up with. And that, in connection with the language, was pretty hard for me; I felt a bit like this was too much to keep up with at the same time, and I was lost in the storyline a couple of times. However, I found it interesting that Janove said lateron that it would be helpful to see the play more than once to really understand it … that’s absolutely true, and the second time I was able to fill in almost all of the “holes”, but that’s not really the sense of a theater play, right?! But then I can imagine that a Norwegian native doesn’t have the problems that I had, and that usually, it should be possible to understand the story the first time around. I guess I had a little disadvantage after all, language-wise… =;-)

Rogalandteater is tiny – well, at least if you compare it with German musical theaters. *g* I guess that it takes about 400 people. Of course there were lots of celebrities in the audience during the premiere, and probably a more “typical” theater audience. On the second day, the audience was noticeably younger. The stage was impressive – despite the very simple set design, with two stair structures that were used in different ways and various stage props. And in relation to the rather small auditorium, the stage seemed absolutely gigantic!

Also regarding the music, “impressive” is probably the word that fits best. Some of the Kaizers songs were hardly changed at all and just sung by the actors, others were very different from the original version. And many left a huge impression simply because of the amount of people on stage and because the context was so bombastic. Phenomenal! Wow! So you’ve heard the songs a hundred times, and suddenly they hit you again, as if they were all new … =:-) I was especially impressed by the versions of Bak et Halleluja and Ompa til du dør, which fit so perfectly into the mood of the play, and which were just absolutely impressive. And also Rullett, Dieter Meyers, Evig pint, and especially Drøm hardt were simply brilliant.

The actors are no trained musical singer, and this showed a little sometimes. But in general, this wasn’t negative, and it didn’t really matter that you could notice some weaknesses whenever the singing parts got really difficult. Quite the opposite; each actor used his or her own way of singing the songs, and this of course is really exciting because we know the songs only in the way that Janove (or Geir) sings them. The best singers by far were Vicente and Victoria, who both sing just amazing. Vicente shone with Dieter Meyers Inst, presented alone at the piano, and with a spine-tingling version of Evig pint, while Victoria was particularly impressive in Kvite Russer. (By the way: Can we please distribute the roles the same way at concerts in the future? So that we girls get to sing “lalala” and the guys get the “Kvite Russer” part? Thank you. *g*) Unfortunately, the main character number 3, Sonny, was a letdown regarding the singing, which I thought was really really sad. =:-( His “big moments” in the play are the beginning of Maestro and Kontroll på kontinentet – and both were just bad. This is a real pity, especially since Kontroll follows just after Maestro, so that the quality drops considerably from one moment to the other. What a shame! But that might be the reason why it is called “music theater” and not “musical”. =;-)

What I was wondering most about beforehand was how the songs would fit into the story. Would they really fit in “naturally”? Or would they rather be “pushed in” wherever there was an opening to put in a song? Well, I didn’t get to a final conclusion for this question… it’s something in between. Some of the songs fit really well, some pretty good (in these cases, a name or a line was changed to make them fit – like for example in Ompa til du dør), but some also leave the impression that they don’t really fit but there’s a constructed context, as if someone wondered how these songs could be included after all. Still, these songs aren’t out of place, they just don’t fit in naturally. A good example is probably the side story around Fader Martin and Fru Conrades – the two sing Bris and Di grind together, but both songs don’t contribute anything to the story. So it feels a bit as if the songs were put in to stretch the play and to give the main actors a little break. But I have to say here that this might just be my personal view – I know the songs very well, and therefore I interpret them in a certain way; perhaps you can understand them differently as well, so that they fit better into the context and contribute something to the story. So here we are back at the language problem. =;-)

So, let’s get to the story now. Here’s a clear SPOILER WARNING! If you want to see the play yourself and you want to be surprised, don’t read on … =;-)

About the story: The character that leads through the entire play is Lucifer. She acts as a kind of “storyteller”, but she’s also the one who transports death. She’s in the background of almost every scene.

Vicente, Victoria, and Sonny grow up together during the war, and they are part of the resistance movement Resistansen. Vicente (the leader of Resistansen) and Sonny become blood brothers, Vicente and Victoria are a couple, but Sonny loves Victoria as well – Victoria, however, can marry only one of the two of course, and that will be Vicente. Sonny manages to arrange a meeting with Resistansen’s biggest nemesis Monsieur Clavier. Vicente takes on the job to meet Monsieur Clavier, under the alias “Tony Fusciante”, and to dispose of him. However, “someone” rats on him and his gun is not loaded, so Clavier can overwhelm and capture him. Before Clavier does that, however, he forces Vicente to play a round of Russian Roulette, while he himself sings Rullett – in French! Absolutely brilliant. From now on, I always want this song in French. *g*

Victoria and Sonny return to Resistansen with the bad news that Vicente didn’t make it and is dead, and Sonny follows Vicente as leader of Resistansen. After years of torture at the hands of Monsieur Clavier (or rather his German torturer – “Ve know who you arr” – hilariously funny!), Vicente, who didn’t rat on Resistansen, is rescued by Monello. Monello tells him that Resistansen is going down, that Sonny took over everything (including Victoria) and that Vicente has a son who is raised by Sonny. Monello is shot on the run, and Vicente must cope on his own in a world that has changed. Nobody can tell him where to find Resistansen, and a “Dieter Meyer” has taken control. It turns out that this Dieter Meyer, also known as Maestro or Papa, is Sonny, who teamed up with Monsieur Clavier to form a huge mafia organization. So basically: Sonny, Dieter Meyer, Maestro, and Papa are all the same person! And Sonny is the “bad guy”! =:-o Helge’s comment after the play, when I, totally confused, stuttered something like “what, where, how – Sonny is the bad guy, what the hell…?” (Did I mention that I felt quite overwhelmed and didn’t really want to give any opinion about the play right afterwards, but instead think through it all again before I make up my mind, when suddenly Helge stood there and wanted to know what I thought? *g*): “Well, I knew that, of course.” Oh really? *g* Doesn’t really help me though, ’cause I have a solidarity problem here. Damn, I LIKED Sonny!!! *lol*

Anyway, back to the play. So we have the mafia organization Dieter Meyers Inst. with its leader Maestro/Sonny, who is also raising Vicente’s son Camille. Victoria still loves Vicente, but she’s married to Sonny and has to do what he wants. Vicente puts a good face on things, acts as if the past was forgiven and forgotten, and apparently joins forces with Sonny again. Sonny, in turn, remains suspicious (and righteously so) and repeatedly proves how mercilessly he steers his organization. For he is the Maestro! He divides the population into those who are submissively at his side and the “waste”, which ends up in the clutches of Dr. Mowinckel. Maybe the best scene of the play: Vicente gets an impression of the suffering of the “waste”, while they are singing Drøm hardt. Absolutely captivating and impressive! And right after that, Dr. Mowinckel comes on stage, funnily humming the Drøm hardt chorus, and stands in front of one of the “zombies” (yes, zombies, in the theater! *yeah*) that he has created and says “Eg har et spøkelse på min rygg”. *rofl*

In the end, there’s the showdown between Sonny and Vicente, because Sonny is demanding unconditional allegiance. He aims the gun at Vicente, a gunshot rings out – and Sonny falls dead to the ground. Not he has pulled the trigger, but Vicente’s son Camille. Vicente, Victoria and Camille are free, and at then end of the play, they all sing “Sonny” – but I have to say that this was something I couldn’t place at all. This is the perfect song to conclude, of course … but they just shot the bad guy, and suddenly he’s the good old blood brother again? This left me completely confused the first time; the second time I found it a bit more acceptable – as a sort of “completion”; this is how it once was, and now things are different. Still… quite confusing.

So well – I said there was “a lot of story”, didn’t I? =;-) That’s really the only criticism I have. There’s so much happening that you must be “on guard” every second to avoid being left behind. And I must confess, for me there are still a few small question marks left in the story … but I’ll still have the chance next weekend to fill in the “holes”. =;-)

And all in all I can only say: Awesome! Amazing! Fantastic! A completely new experience. And yet, totally “Kaizers”. So if you have the chance to watch this – definitely do so! And even if you don’t know Norwegian: It’s worth a visit just for the new versions of the songs already – not even mentioning the fact that a musical is always amazing and impressive, no matter if you can understand or not. =:-)
Yay, I want to see it again! And I definitely wouldn’t mind a second play, like Kaizers and Tore Renberg are hinting at already … *g*

16.10.2010 Skambankt (Uka i Ås)

Sunday, October 17th, 2010
16.10.2010 – Photos Skambankt (Uka i Ås)

Last time in Ås, we had been sightseeing all around the Østfold the whole day, were terribly tired, slept through the Hellbillies concert, and waited for Skambankt at the wrong stage in the end, ooops. This time, it was entirely different. We slept late, had a quiet day, arrived in Ås just when the fun actually started, checked where the concert would be right away, and prevented some fellow fans from doing the same mistake that we did. =;-)

Before Skambankt, some American rapper was playing. I had never heard of Ryan Leslie, and I guess I don’t care to find out who he is, but people seemed to enjoy themselves; and he was obviously a big star, ’cause he didn’t get close to the audience without a bodyguard close by. *lol*
In the meantime, we got some weird looks from the merch stand – why the hell would somebody learn a language because of a band?!? Well, I don’t know. It just… happened. *g*

Anyway, then it was time for Skambankt. As we had suspected before, most of the people were there to see Skambankt, so the concert room filled up very quickly. Still, for a student thingy: The audience was great! Lots of drunk kiddies, of course, but no annoying drunk kiddies. =;-) And everyone wanted to see the concert and have fun. Yay!

So the atmosphere was great right from the start, even though Terje pointed out that they thought maybe it was a bit too late for that… no, it was not!

Skambankt played almost exactly the same setlist as the day before. The only difference was that they added Født på ny as first encore. Actually, I don’t have a lot to report here – all in all, the concert was very similar to the one in Sarpsborg, even though the room was much bigger, the stage much higher, and so of course there was less interaction with the front rows. OK, and so I was standing in the back this time, which of course meant I couldn’t really see all that was happening on stage. But then, I managed to film some nice clips – check them out on my YouTube channel. Oh, and by the way – even though there were technical problems in almost all of the songs that I recorded, the rest of the concert went just fine. Guess my camera spreads bad karma or something. *g*

There was a bit of talk, but not really a lot worth remembering. =;-) Before Malin, Terje asked whether we knew the following song. Everybody screamed YES before even knowing what was going to happen (well, except for those people who knew the setlist… *g*), so Terje announced they would now play their favorite cover song “Krabbeklo”. =;-)

In Me sa nei, we had to count down from 40 (which took quite a while *g*), and as mentioned, the first encore was the ballad Født på ny. Nice to hear that one live!

That’s about all there is to report about the show – Skambankt should really start doing different things at their concerts, or it doesn’t make sense to write reports. *lol* But hey, just check out the videos, ’cause the concert was a lot of fun and the audience was great!

So now I’ll take a little break again from touring… before I’ll get on my way up to Northern Norway in December, yay! =:-D

16.10.2010 – Photos Skambankt (Uka i Ås)

Sunday, October 17th, 2010
16.10.2010 – Photos Skambankt (Uka i Ås)

15.10.2010 Skambankt (Rock 51, Sarpsborg)

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Skambankt return to Sarpsborg! Last year’s concert at Rock 51 was a bit… weird. But that didn’t prevent me from going there again – especially since Sarpsborg’s quite easy to get to, and with another concert in Ås the next day, it was absolutely worth taking a little trip to Norway again!

Sarpsborg itself turned out to be a nice enough little town – but too small to spend a whole afternoon without getting bored. =;-) But I had some stuff to work on anyway, and after a nice and tasty dinner it was time to get ready for the concert!

At Rock 51, we were welcomed by the merch guy (he he, yep, THAT is how you sell stuff! *g*) and got to greet some fellow fans. This time, the stage was arranged a bit differently, so that – even though there was a pillar right in front of the stage and it was hard to see – it felt more like a concert place than a bar with some noise coming out of a corner, like it was last time. =;-)

The concert started with the Eliksir intro, followed by the first song Mantra. Next song up was Skambankt – and it was clear right away that the audience wanted to have fun. The audience was quite mixed, so there were some people who were amazingly enthusiastic, while others just stood and looked on. But all in all, people seemed to enjoy what was happening; and all were definitely interested, unlike last time in Sarpsborg.

Not much talk though – there were some question about who had been there last time, who had heard Hardt Regn and so on, but that was almost it. A little remark when the guitar wasn’t in tune (“That happens when you don’t check it yourself!”), but apart from that, they let the songs do the talking. =;-)

Third song was Slukk meg for eg brenner, then Amnesty, Dynasti, and Fritt fall. Yay! =:-D Then Løgnprofitør, Malin, Kaos så inferno, and Me sa nei. That one with some nice explosions in the middle, hadn’t heard that before. *g* The last songs were O dessverre, Tyster, and Stormkast #1.

Throughout the concert you could see how much fun Skambankt had on stage – and that’s always great to watch! Even though it is a bit weird to see Terje in the dictator position. =;-) Ordering the others up on the barrier, casting reproachful looks to whoever played a wrong note – but not only that, also turning around to guide everyone through a passage of Tyster that (at least that’s my assumption *g*) never worked out right. This time it did. Terje just has to start conducting… *lol*

They went off and came back shortly after to play the last two songs, KKK and Min eliksir. And I noticed that I don’t remember the lyrics to any of them, ooops. =;-) Well, I guess I’ll have another chance tonight…

So, a great concert, but it might be possible to even top it tonight! Let’s see if they’ll manage that. =:-)

14.09.2010 Skambankt (Lydverket)

Saturday, September 18th, 2010
14.09.2010 – Photos Skambankt (Lydverket)

Blood, sweat, and lots of rock’n’roll
Report by Marlene

Together with two friends, I was one of the 150 lucky people who could attend the Skambankt Lydverket event at Internasjonalen, for free and just like that.

We had been told several times before that the doors would open precisely at 8 p.m. and therefore, everybody had to be there at that time. So, to be on the safe side, we arrived a bit earlier, ordered our drinks, and found out that the whole atmosphere was very relaxed. At 8 p.m., it was way too crowded inside for my taste. Everybody waited for the doors to open. But that didn’t happen on time, because Tollak was late, as it turned out when he fought his way through the crowd.

Soon after, the audience was allowed up the spiral staircase as well, into the room with a bar and small stage, which was richly equipped with instruments so that it didn’t offer the musicians much room to move. Thus all the best on just 7 square meters.

After a short instruction (“Please do not step on cables, make way for cameras, and don’t be angry if a shot must be repeated.”) the recording started. Asbjørn Slettemark, moderator of Lydverket, positioned himself at various places in the audience and reported on music news, like Röyksopp’s visit to the nursing home in conjunction with the new album “Senior”, indie music in American television series, Kvelertak’s naked stage performances.

The Skambankt interview unfortunately turned out to be no more than a two minute conversation about Terje’s favorite CD releases of the fall, and that was it.

But actually, the concert was the highlight anyway, because most likely we won’t have the chance to see Skambankt during the upcoming tour.

The band members made their way to the stage through the excited crowd, that is, Børge, Terje, Tollak, and Christer Knutsen. Yes, Christer Knudsen himself, and he wasn’t there to replace Hans Panzer on guitar, an idea which enlightened my head for a minute, but he crept into a corner where there was no light and worked the keyboards, for example during Amnesti. And if some light actually made it to Christer’s head, you could see a broad grin.

When the program director asked about Hans a little nervously, Terje just said: “Oh, he’ll arrive soon.” They were all relaxed. This was also noticeable when they were playing. It was obvious that they enjoyed it, and the audience – at least those around us – did too.

The first song was “Kaos, så inferno”, followed by “Mantra” and again “Mantra” for a different camera angle. “En gang til!”, the audience shouted afterwards, which amused the band, but we got to hear “Amnesti”. Enough new songs, they thought and played “Slukk meg”, “O Dessverre”, and “Stormkast”. During the latter, some mischievous guest unfortunately threw a glass towards the stage, which broke at a spotlight and rained down on the front of the stage, hitting Terje. Unflinchingly, they finished the song and dabbed small wounds.

The incident couldn’t harm the good mood, and our euphoria accompanied us through the rest of the night.

02-04.09.2010 Rått og Råde (Stavanger)

Monday, September 6th, 2010
02-04.09.2010 – Photos Rått og Råde (Stavanger)

The main stageAbout every big and small town in Norway has its own rock festival – that’s quite typical for the Norwegian music scene. Stavanger has been struggling with this a bit over the last couple of years. The last rock festival in Stavanger, Pulpit Rock, went bankrupt after the third year. But fortunately, it didn’t take long until a new festival was planned for the city, namely Rått og Råde! Not everybody welcomed this plan though, because the festival was scheduled to be in the middle of a residential area, where a lot of elderly people are living. However, the plans were approved, and so Stavanger was all set for a new festival for about 10000-15000 people.

I was really curious about how this would turn out, mostly because this festival was really HUGE for Norway. I gotta admit that I don’t like big festivals, I’m much more into the small and cozy ones, but then – even huge festivals in Norway seem more like medium-sized festivals in Germany, and I was wondering how they would manage to set up such a festival for the first time.

The crowdAnd I was impressed! Overall, the festival was just amazing. The area was big enough for the amount of people, there were enough bar and food stands and toilets so that you didn’t have to queue for long, the organization worked out very well, there were enough securities and volunteers to get everything to run really smoothly. Thumbs up!

A big plus was the weather of course: three days of sunshine without even the slightest clouds. Would you ever expect that in Norway in September? That was so nice, and even though it did get quite cold at night, this made the festival perfect. So it’s hard for me to really judge the festival… No clue how it would have been in the rain. But like this, it was just amazing!

After the concertsSo does that mean there was nothing to criticize? Almost, but not quite. The area was really nice for a festival. The stages were arranged nicely, you could see very well, and it never got too crowded – you could always find a nice spot in the audience. So that was perfect. But then, the festival was far from sold out. From what I heard, there were 10.000 people there the first and last night (and about 6000 on Friday), which wasn’t too bad, but still under capacity. With a few thousand people more, I think it would have been quite crowded. Not necessarily in front of the stages, but everywhere in between. There was a nice “market street” in between the two stages, where the food stands were located and where you could sit down and rest a bit. That part was usually quite crowded, especially when everybody was walking from one stage to the other. And as bands on both stages took turns playing (which means that there was always some music playing – great!), that happened quite frequently. There were a few narrow paths that just weren’t suited for a lot of people walking there at the same time. It worked out fine with the amount of people that actually was at the festival, but I’m not sure if it would be the same with even more people. And the same was true for the exit, by the way. It looked quite frightening to see everyone head toward the same narrow path at the same time right after the concerts. The organizers took every precaution they could, the path was well-lit, and there was just no way to get the crowd off the area more quickly. But this is clearly a bottleneck for the festival, which might pose a problem if the festival is continued and might even grow.

KidApart from that, the area seemed perfect for a festival. Very easy to get to from the city center (and the bus transfer worked out just great – except that it was VERY hard to actually get hold of one of the bus passes that were advertised; nobody seemed to know about them), mostly gravel grounds (so it wouldn’t get too muddy with rain), and lots of space. I can understand it though that the people living in the area were not too fond of the festival, even though the concerts ended by 11 p.m. at the latest – there’s still 10.000 people invading your neighborhood, seven hours of noise every day, and quite a bit of hassle walking around the festival grounds. However, I think that this should be bearable, as it’s only one weekend in the year – and a big plus for Stavanger.

I gotta admit that this was more or less a “surprise festival” for me. The line-up sounded great to me, because I knew almost all names on the list. However, for most of them I had NO clue what to expect. This made it really exciting, especially since there was always a band playing. So I could just walk up, check them out, and decide whether I liked it or not. Pretty cool – but it also means that I can’t report too much about the bands, because most of them were completely unknown to me. However, I’ll try to do my best now to report on the festival concerts!

Susanne SundførThe first artist of the festival was Susanne Sundfør on the big stage. I didn’t make it to the festival until halfway through her concert, but I was impressed. Not only by the crowd of people that was already gathered in front of the stage, but also by the music. When I arrived, Susanne Sundfør was doing a part alone, which was very nice. After a few songs, the band joined her. I hadn’t even noticed they were missing! But they did give a different touch to her concert and added some variety. A very nice opening concert!

After Susanne Sundfør, Line Larsen took over on the second stage. Gotta admit that she didn’t convince me. It was nice music, but not catchy at all.

Karpe DiemNext up was Karpe Diem, and my first surprise. I suspected… hmm… maybe some “dark” rock band? I got a hip hop act, which actually wasn’t too surprising I guess, I think I’ve even heard them on the radio before. They managed to get the crowd moving! I liked the show quite a lot, and so did the rest of the audience, as it seemed.

Then, before the main act, Casiokids played on the small stage. And I left after the first song… Sorry, but what was that? Indie-alternative-wannabe-rock? Not my thing, not at all.

Morten HarketSo I had time to grab something to eat before a-ha came on. I didn’t really expect a lot from the a-ha concert. I knew that I didn’t really know them (just the hits of course), I knew that it’s not necessarily the kind of music I usually listen to, and I knew that it was really cool to get to see them play live once! And I got pretty much what I expected: A professional show, a bit too reserved in my opinion, a lot of nice pop songs, and a dedicated audience that was impressively loud when singing along. In the beginning, my attitude was mostly “okay, it’s something you gotta see once, but well…” Towards the end, they played more and more hits and thus songs that I knew, and I started to really enjoy it. Yes, guess you HAVE to have seen a-ha on stage once, and if it’s only to note that Morten Harket looks like David Hasselhoff, or that it sounds pretty awkward if a whole audience suddenly squeaks “STAY!”. *lol* But yeah… that probably sounds rather insulting to any a-ha fan, sorry about that. But they were never my heroes. =;-) And I did enjoy the concert, more than I had expected.

Geir ZahlThe second day of the festival was the big “Kaizers day”. =;-) First up everybody faced a hard decision: While Uncle Deadly (aka Geir Kaizer) opened the festival day on the main stage, Skambankt were doing a signing session downtown. Not sure how the signing session went (’cause I didn’t have any doubt when deciding for Uncle Deadly), but the Uncle Deadly concert was really nice. It was a bit of a downside though that it was so early in the day and there were only very few people on the festival grounds at that time. Too bad! You can read more about the Uncle Deadly concert in my report.

After Uncle Deadly, a band called Rub A Dubs played on the small stage. I hadn’t heard of them before, but they sounded very promising! I’m really bad at finding genres for bands – but they had brass, which is always a big plus, and they got people dancing!

MewNext up on the main stage was Mew from Denmark. Again, I didn’t know more than the name, but this time my expectations were about right. A nice rock band with some “weird” influences, with a front man in a dark leather coat, singing sometimes in normal voice, sometimes two octaves up… =;-) But it was really fun to listen to! And to watch the guy whose only job on stage it seemed to be to dance. Hmm… does that mean he’s part of the band?

The next band was also from Denmark, and my first impression was “they sound Danish”. Honestly, I have no clue what made their sound typical Danish (nor do I have any idea what typical Danish sound IS *g*). The band was Oh No Ono, and actually, I even knew one of their songs – which doesn’t mean I knew the band. They reminded me a bit of Casiokids. Just standing, hardly moving, pretty monotonic music… not quite my style. And it seemed that most people were thinking the same, as it was quite empty in front of the stage at that time.

Band of HorsesOr maybe this was already because of the next band and people preparing for the BIG concert of the evening: Band of Horses. You don’t know them? Well, I didn’t either. But EVERYBODY in Norway does, and they really were the big highlight of the day for many. So people were really enjoying their concert. I found it was nice, but without knowing the songs (I had heard one on Norwegian radio though! *g*), I couldn’t quite figure out what makes them so special. It was nice music, well performed, but it didn’t really catch on for me.

Anyway, I think it would have taken a lot to take my mind away from the upcoming concert at that time. Because next up were Skambankt, who delivered a fantastic concert in front of an even more fantastic crowd! All about the concert here.

The ProdigyThe headliner on Friday was The Prodigy. I’ve seen them before, twice even, and I always hated it – not because of the music which I find is quite suitable for festivals, but because it was impossible to listen to their concerts, as the bass was turned up so loud that it hurt. And not even in your ears, but in your whole body… It turned out though this time that it wasn’t too bad! The sound was absolutely okay, and I stayed almost until the end of their concert, even though I had planned to leave after five minutes. But no, I gotta admit, that was a fun concert! The crowd loved it as well – but it was obvious that there were a lot less people at the main concert than the day before.

Enjoying the sunThe next day, like the first two, started in bright sunshine and warm temperatures, so that everybody arrived at the festival grounds early and everything started out very relaxed and happy. First up was Bare Egil Band. One guy with guitar and microphone, obviously quite funny, but I found out that my Norwegian might be sufficient for daily conversation, but not to understand what all this was about and whether it was good or bad. =;-)

That was much easier for me with the next band: Madcon! One of the few Norwegian bands of the festival which are known outside of Norway as well. In the beginning, it seemed like they had a hard time getting the audience to go along. They worked really hard though, making the audience scream again and again, splitting them into two groups and having them compete, making them jump – and it worked! The crowd was quite impressive for this time of the day, and it was obvious that everybody had fun. And rightfully so! Madcon seemed like the perfect band for that time and that crowd.

TôgThe next band, Tôg on the small stage, also had quite a few people in the audience. Not sure in which genre they should be placed – electro-alternative maybe? It was a nice mixture, in any case. At least from the musical side. Not sure why they all had black clothes and white scarves on their heads, that looked a bit silly. But it’s the music that counts, right? =;-)

Then we went back to the hip hop. Lars Vaular was another band where I knew only the name and nothing else – at least that’s what I thought. I did know their sunglasses song though. =;-) I watched their performance from the very back, so it’s hard for me to judge the reaction of the audience, but it seemed to me that they managed to capture the audience – but there weren’t as many people who let themselves capture as under Madcon’s concert.

Purified in BloodWhile the main stage was turned into a hip hop stage, the small one now became the hardcore stage. I don’t like that genre, I can’t tell what is good or bad, but Purified in Blood were quite impressive. Less because of their music (it just sounded like “noise” to me), but because of the audience. There was actually a pretty big circle pit! OK, there’s circle pits at about every concert I see in Germany, but you can’t compare Germany and Norway in this respect. Honestly, I had never expected a real pit in Norway. But then I wasn’t surprised that it was _extremely_ aggressive in there. OK, it was nothing compared to later on, but before that…

Thomas Dybdahl played on the main stage. Talk about different styles! =;-) Nice, melodic pop rock. The main stage audience seemed to like it. I found the concert quite nice, but I didn’t know any of the songs, and nothing really stuck.

KvelertakSo then it was time for Kvelertak on the small stage. Very similar to Purified in Blood, but more melodic and thus easier to listen to, in my opinion. But it might be that PiB is just as melodic, I just haven’t found the underlying melodies yet. =;-) I saw Kvelertak a few times as support for Skambankt, and while it’s not my kind of music, I have total respect for what they do on stage. I was pretty shocked by what was going on in front of the stage though. I’m quite used to seeing pogo pits, but that looked terribly aggressive. And I always thought people are in there together and not against one another… guess that doesn’t count for Norwegian pits, who knows. If I saw that correctly, it ended with the PiB singer being escorted out by the police… uhem.

OzzyFor some reason, they were done fifteen minutes early (my guess was that they had planned for an encore, but people just left, but I don’t know whether that’s true), and then the waiting for Ozzy Osbourne began! I had seen him once before, in 1997 if I recall correctly. Don’t really remember anything from that concert except that it was raining and he covered “Singing in the rain”. =;-) Again, I didn’t really know any songs, just some fragments here and there, but it turned out to be an amazing concert! The audience was absolutely crazy, Ozzy was very friendly and entertaining, the music was great (well, except for the singing maybe – Ozzy was a bit off-key sometimes…), there was a foam sprayer and the first row, the securities and camera got covered in foam a few times, and Ozzy seemed very excited about the great audience. Honestly, that seemed a little bit fake to me… not sure why, because the audience was quite enthusiastic. But not really that loud, I thought. However, Ozzy seemed amazed and said he was amazed, so maybe he actually was. =;-) He played a really long set – almost two hours – and it seemed as if he would have continued if the hour hadn’t been after eleven, which was the strict curfew.

Thank you!That definitely was a nice conclusion to a great festival. From what I read up to now, the sales weren’t as good as expected, so it’s not quite clear yet whether the festival will be repeated next year. I really hope so though, because it’s a great thing – and yep, every Norwegian town needs its own festival! Especially if it’s such a nice one. =:-)

02-04.09.2010 – Photos Rått og Råde (Stavanger)

Sunday, September 5th, 2010
02-04.09.2010 – Photos Rått og Råde (Stavanger)