07.09.2013 Kaizers Orchestra (DNB-Arena, Stavanger)

Monday, September 9th, 2013
07.09.2013 – Photos Kaizers Orchestra (DNB Arena, Stavanger)

Saturday’s show was the first one that had been sold out quite a while in advance – however, when I entered the arena, it didn’t look like it at all. A few fans in the very front, but the rest seemed to still enjoy their vorspiel at home … very weird. And actually not true, but due to the fact that the ticket scanners did not work and there were huge queues outside in the rain. =:-/ But after a while, things were sorted out and the hall started to fill up.

I had brought my camera to this concert, so I was a bit distracted throughout the show. Pictures will be up after I get back home though, so don’t expect them in the next couple of days. =;-)

The night started with Geoff Berner warming up – according to his words he’s been “the spiritual leader for the Kaizers” for the last ten years. Unfortunately, the crowd wasn’t very interested, so the response to his songs was rather quiet. Except when he got everyone to shout “Fuck the police” – much to the chagrin of the police officers that were present, uhem …

Kaizers started out as usual (again, they went on stage at 8:30 already, because they were allowed to play till 11 pm only). Aldri vodka, Siste Dans, Bøn fra helvete – the latter with Tore Renberg watching from the aisle in front of the stage and Hellraizer and the Jackal falling in love with one other. *g* In En for orgelet, the Jackal’s microphone cable got caught in Hellraizer’s guitar, and since Hellraizer couldn’t free himself while playing, he had to wait for the Jackal to help him out.

The first surprise: Mann mot mann! No maracas, but fun nevertheless, with both guitar players up on the barrels. And then the Jackal set the tone of the night: “If I say something and you agree, you say YAY! And you always agree!” After the song, the Jackal asked if it was hot already. Oh yes! But good … “after all, it’s not a Coldplay concert … did you get that? COLDplay?” *g*

In Kontroll på kontinentet, the Jackal asked Killmaster if he was satisfied with his solo. “Or wait, who else would be able to judge that better than our crew?” – so the crew, which had lined up at the back of the stage already, held up signs with scores. *rofl* The White Russian actually had just an “OK” sign – Killmaster: “Han der med hvit dress får sparken!” (“The guy in the white suit is fired!”). But then he quickly turned around his sign to reveal the “10” instead of the “OK” and things were fine. =;-) At least on that side of the stage … Jackal to Hellraizer: “So what are YOU laughing about? It’s your turn next to play a solo!” *gg*

The second big surprise – well, actually not a huge and unexpected surprise because you could see the marimba on stage, but awesome nevertheless – was Maskineri. The Jackal said they hadn’t played it for quite a while because it was just too difficult; but they managed it just fine, and it was great to get to hear it again. They just forgot to do the turn in the middle. =;-)

Then it was time for Hellraizer’s solo – which seemed to surprise him. But the Jackal admitted that, strictly speaking, it’s not REALLY a solo of course, because he isn’t playing on just one string, but on many.

Do we want more? Is it fun to be here? The audience responded with a loud “JJJJAAAAAA” – fortunately. The Jackal admitted that this is the first thing they teach you in band school – never ask if people actually want to be there. What if they say no?? *lol*

When it was time for Hjerteknuser, the Jackal asked for a scarf again – and got it before he even finished asking. “Oh, have you seen us before? Do you know that part? Well, then let’s do something else. Anybody got a glass of champagne?” So he took the glass, got up on the barrel, downed it (“Takk for alle de årene!”) , and – since the band did not start when he was done – threw it high in the air, and the song started when it hit the stage floor.

Time for the encores – and in Resistansen, we got the competition between the audience and the band again. Except that the audience didn’t care much about what the Jackal was directing; they always cheered after the band played, even if the Jackal wanted the band to play twice. =;-) So he explained it thoroughly, though without a microphone (which actually worked! =:-o In a 5500-people hall!): “You are too early!!” So after a few tries (and the obligatory idiot who spoils it for the others *g*), we got it right. =;-)

Before they played 170, Omen had to empty his helmet first – he had used it as vase for the flowers again. And by the way, he had been busy eating peanuts all night. Including throwing them up in the air and trying to catch them. *lol*

When they came back for the second encore and Omen slowly entered the stage, Killmaster came from behind and pushed him in his place by the organ – looks like they were really running out of time. But we did get another awesome version of Die Polizei again, followed by Ompa til du dør and then the goodbyes. During those, Killmaster actually pulled a rabbit out of a hat. =;-)

Another awesome concert, maybe even better than the one before. Can’t wait until next week!

The setlist:

  • Aldri vodka, Violeta
  • Siste dans
  • Bøn fra helvete
  • Tusen dråper regn
  • En for orgelet, en for meg
  • Forloveren
  • Mann mot mann
  • Katastrofen
  • Sigøynerblod
  • Tokyo Ice til Clementine
  • Kontroll på kontinentet
  • Evig pint
  • Støv og sand
  • KGB
  • Maskineri
  • Prosessen
  • Apokalyps meg
  • Drøm videre, Violeta
  • Svarte katter & flosshatter
  • Dieter Meyers Inst.
  • Hjerteknuser
  • Begravelsespolka
  • Resistansen
  • 170
  • Maestro
  • Die Polizei
  • Ompa til du dør

06.09.2013 Kaizers Orchestra (DNB-Arena, Stavanger)

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Next day, next concert – and this one was the first REAL Siste Dans concert in Stavanger! I had planned to be there a bit earlier this time to get a chance to really see all the action that was going on in the foyer, and also the photo exhibition upstairs, but as it started pouring (and no, I don’t mean “raining”, that would be such an understatement!) just before the doors opened and didn’t stop for about an hour, we didn’t make our way out until around 7 pm after all. So we missed Geoff Berner playing in the foyer, and I still didn’t get to try the “Siste Dans” beer. =;-)

However, I got to admire the arena – the stage side of it was all dressed in red velvet, with three big screens and two round, mirror-like, smaller screens. The screens show the usual movie clips as well as live footage from the cameras – pretty awesome! Sometimes funny though, like when both screens show Killmaster from different angles, apparently having a conversation with himself. *lol* Really awesome also the part in Svarte katter, when Omen’s shadow is right in the center screen. =:-)

The ceiling of the hall is covered with a net with small lights, and there are some huge chandeliers hanging down. And – very important, though hard to notice if you don’t know – all the huge advertising signs (it’s an ice hockey arena, after all!) are covered up with gray cloth.

I’m not 100% sure what happened before the concert, but something didn’t work out as planned – my guess is that Kaizers learned about an hour before the show that the curfew was at 11, not at midnight, as they had planned. So there was quite some stress and rushing, and Kaizers went on stage half an hour earlier than planned. And no, not as usual with the Russian Dance! Instead, the Jackal grabbed the megaphone, started singing Resistansen (leading the audience in singing along, of course), and came to the stage through the audience, from the back of the arena. Wow! Quite a surprise, and an awesome start to the show!

Then they continued as “usual”, without much talk in between the songs (they had little time, after all …), but with huge energy. I wasn’t as lucky picking my spot in the audience this time as I was on the first day; right after the start, we were surrounded by a group of drunk kids. *argh* Well, you gotta love the Norwegian audiences … *uhem* So for the first few songs, I had a hard time enjoying the show, but fortunately that changed quickly.

They did NOT play Din kjole lukter bensin mor – a sign that yes, we’d get the Siste Dans setlist. =;-) And we did! Suddenly, they dug out Hevnervalsen again – a song that they’ve played very very often in Europe, but it seemed like I hadn’t heard it forever, and it was so awesome to get to hear it again! The audience went crazy, and the Jackal went crowdsurfing for the first time in Stavanger. =:-) Seems like the aisle between stage and audience is a bit too wide though, so he couldn’t stagedive, but well; down in the aisle and up again is fine as well.

Next up was Container – also a song they haven’t played in a while. I was waiting for the spot where the Jackal lifts up his shirt and the audience screams – but he forgot about it!! Or so I thought. Actually, he only does it the second time, and of course he did it then. *g*

De grind concluded the series of old classics, and the Jackal proclaimed that the atmosphere was just terrific. “But well, that’s just what I expected! It’s Friday, it’s Stavanger, and it’s a Kaizers show!” But if we liked the opening of the show, we would be surprised about the middle part now – which is the hardest! – because that would be even better.

Hellraizer agreed, but he also noted that both Kaizers and the audience could give even more and had yet another gear. But well, you have to slowly raise the bar throughout the concert, right?

Before they played Sigøynerblod, the guitar players got up on each their barrel – or actually, the Jackal had to help Hellraizer up on his. “He’s an old man … actually, he turns 40 TODAY!” So he got his birthday song, of course. (Even though that one actually went out to the Brit in the front – happy birthday!! *g*)

When introducing Bak et halleluja, the Jackal pointed out that that song works especially well abroad – mostly because the major part of it consists of “na na na”. *g* And we got to sing that part of course – with the Jackal up on the barrel, directing us like in old times, one side softer, one side louder, get it down, get it up, stop, start again …. hach!! =:-D

Had we been waiting for this evening as long as Kaizers had? For half a year, or even a year? No way! “Eg har lengta lenger etter deg enn du har lengta etter meg”, the Jackal stated. “I have longed for you much longer than you have longed for me.” So true. =:-)

During Dieter Meyers Inst., when we were singing the “legg meg IIIIIINN” part, the Jackal had to stop us. “Wait, no, you misunderstood. You are NOT supposed to sing nicely. You’re supposed to SCREAM!” So we did. *g* And throughout the concert we were taught that if we agree with what the Jackal says, we should not say “Ja”. But instead we should scream “YAY!”

We also got some of the same things again that we got yesterday. Of course, the Jackal asked for a scarf from the audience again to start Hjerteknuser. Except that this time, people just threw scarfs at him until he screamed “no, stop, enough!” *lol* Then we had to repeat after him again (think I forgot to mention that yesterday) – “Thank you Ida for the scarf! Janove will throw it in the air now, and when it turns in the air and falls down again, the song will start. Are you looking forward, Ida?” But then he added: “Don’t worry, Ida. You don’t need to be afraid of them. They are not dangerous – just a bit crazy …”

Also, we got the competition in Resistansen again – Kaizers vs. the stands vs. the floor. Just awesome! The Jackal concluded that even the people that were sitting are definitely into the concert. “Or wait, you are actually standing! OK, you may stand as well!”

And in Maestro, we also got the “How much do you like me now” part again. And honestly – as much as I’m sick of that song and don’t care for it at concerts – it was great fun this time, because of the incredible energy on stage …

In general, the encores were just awesome … before Maestro, Omen had to chase the crew off stage, then Thunder came and told Omen to get back at his organ. *g* And after Maestro, they played Die Polizei – which was just beautiful. Blue lighting, thousands of stars from the mirror balls, and hundreds of people with lighters and mobiles in the air … incredibly gorgeous. And melancholic. So I see why they don’t want to end on this note, but concluded with Ompa til du dør. It makes perfect sence, but it didn’t really work for me. Klump i halsen …

Still, a perfect concert… =:-) After the lights went on, a brass band suddenly started playing up in the stands. *lol* Well, nobody really cared for it, but I thought it was a nice surprise. *g*

The full setlist:

  • Aldri vodka, Violeta
  • Siste dans
  • Bøn fra helvete
  • Tusen dråper regn
  • En for orgelet, en for meg
  • Forloveren
  • Hevnervals
  • Container
  • Di grind
  • Tokyo Ice til Clementine
  • Kontroll på kontinentet
  • Evig pint
  • Støv og sand
  • KGB
  • Sigøynerblod
  • Bak et halleluja
  • Prosessen
  • Drøm videre, Violeta
  • Svarte katter & flosshatter
  • Dieter Meyers Inst.
  • Hjerteknuser
  • Begravelsespolka
  • Resistansen
  • 170
  • Maestro
  • Die Polizei
  • Ompa til du dør

05.09.2013 Kaizers Orchestra (DNB-Arena, Stavanger)

Friday, September 6th, 2013

OK, for all the Kaizers concerts I’ve seen, I’ve always written a report in German and then translated it to English; which is the easiest way for me. However, there’s just no way I could write and translate one report per day and get all the other stuff done that I’ve planned, so for the last few concerts, the English version will have to do. Let’s see if writing a report in English instead of German actually works … And sorry to all you German speaking people out there – but then, honestly, who of you actually noticed that there IS a German version and clicked the German flag to display it? Right. =;-)

Siste Dans. The very last Kaizers Orchestra concerts for – at least – a long time. If not forever. But that’s not what I want to cover in the report. I went into the concert with very high expectations; the setlists last week in Oslo and Bergen were totally awesome, Kaizers played almost three hours, everyone who was there talked about their best concert ever.

The first night in Stavanger (well, actually the second night, because the first one was a school concert, but I didn’t attend that one) was different from the others in that it was a concert sponsored by DNB, and all the money from the ticket sales went to Kaizers Orchestra’s UNICEF project. Awesome! Tickets were very cheap, only 100 NOK, and were sold out in the course of a week.

And you could see that from the moment the intro started. Nobody was clapping! The first few rows seemed excited, but the rest was obviously there because the tickets were cheap, uhem. They didn’t know any of the songs, didn’t clap if they weren’t asked to do so, and the same for singing along of course. Until the very end, people on the stands were sitting down. But, and that’s the important part: They were interested in the concert. At festivals, you often have it that people don’t care and start talking and ruining the show for others. That didn’t happen at all (at least not where I was standing). People were into it and enjoyed the show.

It started out as usual – Aldri vodka Violeta, Siste dans (but the “jentene” were of course from Stavanger today *g*), Bøn fra helvete, Tusen dråper regn (with great lighting!), and Din kjole lukter bensin mor. Uuuh… what, Din kjole lukter bensin? Hadn’t they finally dropped that one? They even did the old introduction to the song, that they need to have a female singer to sing along and asked Susanne Sundfør – but she said no. So they had to take number two on the list. Carola – but with her, Kaizers said no. Or actually “no, thank you”, because they are nice guys. And so the number three female singer is … Mr. Geir Hellraizer Kaizer!

And that part of the concert made me realize two things: 1) They were playing a festival show, with the old festival setlist, not a Siste Dans show. 2) They were in a very talkative mood, and they were incredibly funny. *g*

And yep, both of these realizations turned out to be true. The only surprise in the setlist was Prosessen, the rest was the plain festival list. And I have a hard time remembering the last concert where I laughed so hard and so much during the show. So yep, it was a festival show, but that was okay since it was only the first of many concerts for me. And it was hysterically funny. I don’t even know how and why – I think that Kaizers themselves were a bit sarcastic about the audience at times, and instead of just playing their set without interaction or any comments at all, they decided to have fun. Guess for them, it was really more of the last festival than a good-bye show. But without the rain! *g*

So, I’ll try to piece together some of the stuff that happened:
– Omen had candles this time. I’m not quite sure what he did when he got them (or was it just one? I couldn’t really see) out of his suitcase, but it involved a lighter, and it took a long time until the candle was actually lit.
– Kaizers have some songs that are “gypsy punk rock”. As Hellraizer got up on the barrel, the Jackal asked him: “So, what part are you? The gypsy? The punk? The rock?” He didn’t really get an answer, so he asked Killmaster. “Me? I just do whatever I’m being told to do!” It … doesn’t seem funny at all when reading it. But it was hilarious. *g*
– Then they actually messed up the ending of Sigøynerblod completely, playing at totally different speeds. Still, they managed to finish at the same time. =;-)
– The Jackal pointed out the DNB Arena, which was dressed up really nice (but sorry, it still looks like an ice hockey arena …). “What a fantastic place to celebrate a funeral!” =:-(
– After Killmaster’s solo in Kontroll på kontinentet, the Jackal asked us if we liked it. And Killmaster got sincere: “Thanks so much that I got to play a solo!” Not quite sure who he was addressing though. =;-)
– And then we actually got the old introduction again …! Or so I thought. Nope, they just stopped at the place where the introduction used to happen, and the Jackal took some questions from the audience. “Are you single?” – “No.” – “Is he single?” – “Yes, room 505!”
– In Resistansen, the Jackal noticed the stands. And had to include them, of course! So there was a competition on who was the loudest – Kaizers, the stands, or the people on the floor. The result was clear: “Well, we’re the loudest!” The audience didn’t like that, so we got another chance to prove ourselves. =;-)
– Not really anything special in Svarte katter, Omen blew some soap bubbles again. But after the song, the Jackal explained that Omen is really a “finding”. The just found him in 1999 – the last century, by the way! – out in Bergen, dressed in his suit, sitting at his pump organ. So they asked him to join the band, and he … didn’t say anything. Because he doesn’t talk much. Only in the megaphone to say it LOUD. Or right now, he’s saying “thank you all very very much” in his very special way …
– Oh yes, and Omen is “93 kilograms of gold”.
– Then the Jackal noted that we were a really good audience, listening when he was talking and cheering when need be. Listening – cheering – listening – cheering. And the audience actually went along, even though all of this was pure sarcasm (unlike in Trondheim).
– And the listening/cheering is just like his father does it, who is almost 70 by now. Which is true, so the Jackal could say it. He could not say it about Hellraizer’s father, even though he’s almost 70 as well. Oops, now he said it …
– By that time, I was rolling on the floor laughing. But the Jackal could still top it. He was looking for a scarf from the audience (to start Hjerteknuser, of course). “It must be from a girl, about 1.70m, plus or minus, and from the fourth or fifth row!” *lol*
– Of course they did the waving part again at the end of the song, and after they stopped, the Jackal replaced his usual “I want to see that again, let’s start it up again” with a “Oh, you didn’t get to take a picture of it yet? Let’s do it again so you can take a picture!”, pointing randomly in the audience. Did I already say that they were a tiny bit sarcastic and hysterically funny? *gg*
– And then it was over – and honestly I think that either they forgot to say before Hjerteknuser that this was supposed to be the last song, or that they forgot the fact itself or hadn’t planned it like that. In any way, it seemed like everyone was surprised that the concert was suddenly over.
– Except for the encores of course! The last song was Maestro – which the Jackal changed completely by, instead of “Sving din hammer til din pappa drar deg inn”, singing “How much do you like me now”. And bathing in the answer of course. *g*

Wow, that was a weird concert. But definitely not a bad one! I think I would have been annoyed if I had been traveling somewhere for just this one show, but as the first concert of a series of shows it was perfect. Really really funny and entertaining, and setlist-wise, there’s a lot of room for improvement! =;-)

Here’s the setlist:

  • Aldri vodka, Violeta
  • Siste dans
  • Bøn fra helvete
  • Tusen dråper regn
  • Din kjole lukter bensin, mor
  • En for orgelet, en for meg
  • Diamant til kull
  • Støv og sand
  • I ett med verden
  • KGB
  • Sigøynerblod
  • Prosessen
  • Ompa til du dør
  • Kontroll på kontinentet
  • Resistansen
  • Svarte katter & flosshatter
  • Hjerteknuser
  • Begravelsespolka
  • Drøm videre, Violeta
  • Maestro

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*

12.02.2011 – Fotos Kaizers Orchestra (Folken, Stavanger)

Sunday, February 13th, 2011
12.02.2011 – Fotos Kaizers Orchestra (Folken, Stavanger)

12.02.2011 Kaizers Orchestra (Folken, Stavanger)

Sunday, February 13th, 2011
12.02.2011 – Fotos Kaizers Orchestra (Folken, Stavanger)

A great and sunny day in Stavanger (hey, why that, where was the rain that the weather report had promised? *lol*), a signing session with a terribly long queue (but you HAD to get in line to enter Platekompaniet at all, right? *g*), then Jarle Klepp in the cinema (terrific!); and as a great conclusion to the day the second Kaizers concert at Folken! =:-)

The place was just as crowded as yesterday, and the audience seemed to be even louder this time! Of course, there wasn’t so much of surprise moment and “what will happen next???” today, so I could concentrate on the details a little more. And of course enjoy the new songs!

The setlist was almost identical to yesterday’s list, with two exceptions: KGB wasn’t played in the main set, but instead as first song of the encores (instead of Enden av november, which wasn’t played at all). And as last encore, they played Sju bøtter tårer er nok, Beatrice this time, instead of 170! And they announced it as a song they’d never played live before… Well, not on this tour, that’s right. =;-)

I already described the show yesterday, so today I’ll report a bit about the setting (and I’ll try to mention all the talk that I forgot to write about yesterday *g*). And how to start with that? Well, of course: with the Jackal’s hair style! *lol* Not short, not long, gray, in the beginning held up with a lot of hair spray in a terribly looking way. Okay, so then we covered that part now. =;-)

There’s not a lot to report about the first part: One song after the other, not much talk in between, just perfect to get the audience warmed up! Of course there was the typical “You are singing great! But well, it’s a Saturday, so of course you are a great audience!” And yes, as mentioned before, the audience was great and loud, and so we had to sing the whole verse in Resistansen (and lateron in Hjerteknuser as well, and I think also in other songs).

Just like yesterday, Kaizers announced they would hold their concert “nachspiel” at Egersund, which is probably THE new hip location in Stavanger. Even though the audience reaction suggested that it’s probably not that “hip” for everybody… *g*

At the beginning of the second part, during the start of Philemon Arthur, the audience went absolutely crazy again. Pure madness, really! And I _think_ the Jackal wiping his eyes just then wasn’t really a coincidence… which fits nicely in with Hellraizer’s statement yesterday that he had a bit of a lump in his throat at that point of the first concert… More than understandably, this audience reaction MUST be absolutely overwhelming!

By the way, the counting in Din kjole lukter bensin, mor actually isn’t THAT easy as you would imagine. At least if you don’t watch the Jackal closely… if you don’t, you might shout “four” at the totally wrong place. Ooops. =;-) Something I forgot to mention yesterday was how amazing the singing of the audience at the end of the song is! The Jackal didn’t even need to start it, the audience just started singing “Det lukter bensin…” on their own. =:-) And the only way to stop it was by starting the next song, namely En for orgelet. Wow, soooo nice! =:-D

And of course I paid attention to the whistling this time. The solution: Killmaster is standing at a… uh… thing (looks like an old tube radio) and regulates (I assume?) the backing accompaniment, which means the whistling, the beer flutes, and probably some of the rhythm as well. While Hellraizer is rapping and the Jackal is running around with the bass drum. By the way, he advises everyone to get their own bass drum, that’s just a whole lot of fun! *gg*

Before Svarte katter they explained that they had used a lot of time in the studio for this song. Which normally means that the result is either really great or rather mediocre… in their case, it means great, of course!

Kaizers’ first radio hit – which turned them from a no-hit-wonder into a one-hit-wonder! – had to be celebrated of course. So the Jackal decided to “hop in” Hjerteknuser – of course from the barrel!

And then it was already time for the “normal” part of the concert, where they also started talking a bit more. Which was partly due to the fact that the Jackal broke his microphone stand and had to get it repaired a few times. I just love how he looks when things don’t go as planned and for example, he suddenly holds not only his microphone, but also part of the stand… =;-)

Anyway, so we got to know the story about how they found Helge! They were looking for someone who could play the pump organ, and they were told that there is a guy out in Flesland who plays an old pump organ, wearing a suit and a gas mask. So they asked him to join, and he agreed. *lol* The only possible response to that was – of course – some “Helge” shouting, right?

And the Jackal continued to praise the band. During Killmaster’s solo in Kontroll på kontinentet, the Jackal stood behind him and animated the audience to shout and clap even louder and louder. But then, Killmaster was cut off again after his introduction with the advice to “start you own band then”. Well, maybe he’ll think about that! *lol* By the way, they are doing the introduction again because the fans want it: Just like yesterday, the Jackal asked whether he should introduce the band to us; they didn’t do it on the last tour, because the fans didn’t want it, but now? The audience clearly wanted it! So we got it. And afterwards we got to know how important the introduction is. Otherwise the only one who “shines” is the Jackal, and the rest of the band should get a bit of the fun as well, right? They just had a meeting about that a few days ago… *gg*

Just before the end, a round of thanksgiving: Thanks to the orchestra, to the crew, the club, the fans, … “Did we forget anyone? I remember there were ten things we wanted to mention…” But no, they really mean it, that wasn’t irony at all! *g* And Hellraizer made sure we’d all get home safely by mentioning that it might be slippery outside. *g*

Before they played Dieter Meyer, the Jackal explained that they would almost always play this song, because it is so great. Huh? (Ehm, “huh” because of the “always play”, not because of the “great”, of course!) But sometimes they are just sick of it… but of course not on the second day of the tour!

As mentioned before, the last encore was Sju bøtter tårer – a much better conclusion song than 170 in my opinion, because it is both quiet/atmospheric and fast and danceable.

And that was it… Well, so I guess I’ll look forward to five weeks of tour depression now – until the European tour finally starts! And until then, I’ll feed from a wonderful weekend which was pretty much perfect. Kaizers are and will always be the best band of the world… (yes, I’m allowed to write that, pff!)

11.02.2011 Kaizers Orchestra, Folken

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

I will never believe anything this band says again. Well, actually, I’ve always been quite skeptical about their statements (I mean, didn’t they say a few months ago that “sure, the new album will contain official translations into German and English”? *g*). But I did believe them when they said the show would be ALL new, TOTALLY different from before. They said it all the time, so there must be something about it!

And yes – the show IS different. And great! Did I say “great”? Of course I mean absolutely awesometerrificfabulousfantasticwithcreamontop! =:-D I love this band, no matter how much hot air they blow. *gg*

So the show is different, but not that totally and “never before seen” kind of different as they claimed before. So, here’s a spoiler warning for you – if you don’t want to know the differences between the “old” and the current show, don’t read on. But actually, I don’t think you’d loose anything by reading on – ’cause the concerts are a whole lot of fun in any case!

The stage looks just as it used to, except for Thunder’s foot organ (which he played by hand though, at least as far as I could see?). And the microphone cord isn’t red anymore, but I think it hasn’t been for a while anyway. *g* As backdrop, they used the Violeta-carriage-logo. At least in the beginning – and now we finally get to the differences!

The concert was made up of three “acts”. The 1st act was dedicated to gypsy music. Then, the Violeta logo in the back disappeared and revealed a white movie screen. The 2nd act presented the new album – almost completely even! And then for the 3rd act, the old, round gas mask Kaizers logo appeared again, and they continued with a wild mixture of rock songs.

But back to the start again. The intro was some piano plink-plonk, which is probably part of the album as well in some form. Hmm, I didn’t think that really worked; plus, it just wasn’t loud enough (or the audience was too loud *g*), so that you couldn’t clap along (or really hear it – I wouldn’t swear that it was a piano…). Then the band went on and played a gypsy-style intro, let’s just call it “Ho ho ho”, ’cause that was the only thing they were singing. *g* The Jackal joined them, and then they started right into the gypsy music with Katastrofen. I wasn’t really sure how to interpret the fact that the Jackal seemed groggy and out of breath during the first song already – hey, how’s he gonna do the rest of the concert?! But I guess that was just because of the song (Katastrofen IS really strenuous…), probably paired with excitement and tension, and starting with the second song, everything was like it’s supposed to be.

And we got our share of gypsy: Delikatessen, Djevelens Orkester, Senor Torpedo, Sigøynerblod, and Restistansen! Uh – waaaah?! Didn’t they say a while ago that they would NEVER ever play Djevelens Orkester again, and now it seems it’s got a fast place in the set again? And Mr. Torpedo? *gasp* Yay! I know for sure already that I will be able to listen to this part over and over and over again, I will still love it. ‘Cause yes, I still like Resistansen. Even after hearing it more than a hundred times… =:-)

Then it was time for act II – and the NEW concert. The video screen (canvas, not digital) was used in a really nice and impressive way, showing different animations, all related to the Violeta story. Together with the way of singing this created a real “show”. It had a slight impression of a musical, and in a way, it was even more intense than usual! Which probably was also, in a large way, due to the fact that the Jackal gave all he had under the singing; often it didn’t seem like it was “the Jackal” on stage, but Beatrice, Violeta, or Kenneth. Just… awesome! Sorry, I lack the words to say it any differently…

Part two started with Philemon Arthur & The Dung – of course. And the audience went _completely_ crazy! The atmosphere was great before that, but then it went up a few more notches, and they sang along EVERY word. Next up was Femtakt filosofi, which has been played live before, and then Din kjole lukter bensin, mor. This one worked out just great as well, with Jackal and Hellraizer singing together in the beginning. And the audience took over the counting in the end, of course directed by the Jackal. Worked like a charm!

And then the song that turned into my favorite at once: En for orgelet, en for meg. Honestly: I have no clue if/how they did the whistling in the beginning. I just didn’t pay attention to it – I was busy celebrating. *g* But they solved the “problem” with the Violeta rap part in the middle the best possible way, by having… Hellraizer do it. *rofl* And he did it perfectly! I guess I would have stood there admiring that part – if I hadn’t been rolling on the floor laughing, that is, uhem. *lol* And if that wasn’t enough for that song, they took it up another notch at the end, when the Jackal took a big marching bass drum (which actually was a concert bass drum if I saw it correctly, but… does anybody care? No? I figured… *g*) and climbed the oil barrel with it. Yes. You read correctly. And of course the drumming started once he was up there. Madness? Madness!

Then the next song would be the new radio single (and my secret favorite on the album – call me mainstream-girl… *g*): Diamant til kull. Waah, so nice! That of course could only be topped with Psycho under min hatt, right? =:-D

Well, and then they had obviously played all songs of the new album that could be played live… or so you’d think. ‘Cause then they actually played Svarte katter og flosshatter! It works without the Bond-brass in the beginning, and after the intro, Omen picked up a megaphone and screamed the first lines. And of course he did the same again later on… before he put down the megaphone, found a comb, dipped it into his (beer?-)glass, combed his hair in theatrical fashion and plunged the comb back into the glass. Uh, yeah. Psycho under min gas mask? *gg*

Finally, they played Hjerteknuser, of course, and the audience was singing along at the top of their lungs. Hach, concerts in Norway are just amazing! =:-D

And then it was time for act 3! So now, the “normal” Kaizers concert was about to start. First up was Ompa til du dør, followed by Bøn fra helvete and KGB. So everything “like it used to be” – and still: I hadn’t seen it for a year, and even though I didn’t really know I missed it, I obviously did. It was soooo great to get to see this again now, finally!

Not surprisingly, the next song was Kontroll på kontinentet. And now we reach the point were I decided that “I will never believe anything this band says”: They actually used the old band introduction, word by word the same as it used to be! The only exception was when the Jackal presented Thunder’s new hat. But even Hellraizer’s towel (and of course the fountain) was back. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE this introduction, and if I were to decide, they could do this without changing anything for the next decades. And Kontroll without the introduction just feels weird anyway. But if they talk for months about how DIFFERENT the new show will be and that they will do EVERYTHING in a new way, then they just can’t dig up the ancient introduction again?! That they never even buried anyway… No, sorry, I just don’t get it. But then, I’ll just stop believing them and enjoy the old introduction. =:-)

On a side-note: After Killmaster was introduced, he didn’t want to leave the spotlight – as we’ve seen before. Comment by the Jackal: “Well, if you want to play more guitar, you should maybe found your own band.” *rofl*

Slowly but steadily the concert was coming to an end. The last song was Maestro, but yes, of course there were encores! Namely Enden av November and Dieter Meyers Inst (yay!). Before the last one, Kaizers started talking about how they have only great songs and no bad ones… well, okay, maybe Til depotet would qualify as not soooo great. Basically, if you sort all songs by quality, there might actually be a Postgirobygget song between Til depotet and all the rest of the Kaizers songs… Self-confident? Hell yeah!

And that was it – some bowing and good-bye, but of course the audience didn’t want to go home yet, so they had to play a final encore: 170. I gotta admit that I don’t really like the song, but then: It just works perfectly well as concluding song.

And that was really the end. An euphoric audience found their way downstairs, stormed the merch stand, and whoever did not get away in time found herself in front of a local TV camera…

Next concert: tomorrow! And the Kaizers fever is back in full strength… =:-)

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)