Uh … what was that?! =:-D
After two rather similar concerts you start to think that you understood the concept of the tour, and that from now on, the concerts will mostly vary in details and maybe a couple of songs and of course the audience. Well, not with Kaizers …! For Zurich, they mixed up the whole set list again, and the Swiss audience was extremely loud and eager to dance and party – as usual for Switzerland. Wow!
I brought my camera, and so I was a little distracted by taking pictures, especially in the beginning of the concert. To make up for that, I had already jotted down the first four songs of the “typical” set list – just to delete and correct them right away. *g* And that’s how it continued throughout the concert, more or less … =;-) And when I walked through the back of the venue after the first few songs to get to the other side, I was amazed: Not only because it was quite packed (and the hall really wasn’t that small!), but because EVERYONE was moving and dancing, even in the very back. Awesome! So it fit in perfectly when at some time during the concert, a group of Swiss fans held up a huge sign that said: “Please Kaizers don’t quit or split!!!” A great idea, and a great way to show the affection. =:-) Even though nobody will know how much we can rely on the answer “no, don’t worry, we’ll never do that” …
- Aldri vodka, Violeta
- Det polaroide liv
- Djevelens orkester
- Støv og sand
- Din kjole lukter bensin, mor
- En for orgelet, en for meg
- I ett med verden
- Evig pint
- Ompa til du dør
- Dr. Mowinckel
- Kontroll på kontinentet
- Philemon Arthur & the Dung
- Svarte katter & flosshatter
- Bak et halleluja
Actually, there’s not really that much more to report … The atmosphere was really great, the audience was singing along loudly, and Bak et halleluja wasn’t actually planned, but they just “had to” play it, because the audience started singing it several times. Already in the short break after Omen’s megaphone solo in Svarte katter, and then again in the break before the encores, of course.
The whole concert centered around Hellraizer’s birthday – which didn’t even stop after Hellraizer admitted that it wasn’t really his birthday. Still, he was responsible for all guitar solos (except if the Jackal asked him if he would maybe be so kind to give the solo to the other guitarist?), and he was ordered to the microphone a few times (“Not only can he play guitar solos, but he can also sing and dance! That is YOUR night!”).
During Forloveren, we had to do hissing sounds again, which the Jackal commented with a “This sounds like jazz!! I … hate it!”. Omen was busy taking notes again, and when the band entered the stage for the encores, Hellraizer walked right behind Omen and imitated him. Just tiny details, not really anything new, but still an incredibly good concert that was entirely different from the first two shows of the tour. Hach, I love this band … =:-)
Well, I start to see a pattern here: Kaizers Orchestra concerts in Switzerland are always amazing! This time as well – even though I went there expecting “probably a typical slow warm-up concert in front of an audience that doesn’t really care”… Gosh, was I wrong! The concert was absolutely awesome – as always in Switzerland. *g*
The concept of the night was “Sounds nordic, sounds good!”, a festival organized by the Scandinavian embassies, with a wild mixture of artists from the four countries. Sounds like a nice idea of course, but then, who is such a festival aimed at? Do the organizers expect all Scandinavians from the area to come (just like all Portuguese came to see Xutos & Pontapés in concert *g*)? Or was it for the people working at the embassies? Or for the fans of the four bands?
There were definitely some Scandinavians in the audience, and some embassy people as well (but surprisingly few people that looked like they don’t usually attend rock concerts), and the rest of the audience consisted of fans, apparently! Namely fans of Kaizers and of Mando Diao, because the headliner of the night was Caligola, a side project of two members of Mando Diao. But to get straight to the point: The real headliner definitely didn’t come from Sweden! =;-)
When the second band of the night, the Figurines from Denmark, started playing, the audience was already listening intently, enjoying what they heard. But before Kaizers came on, it clearly filled up in the front. And there were quite a few fans with Kaizer shirts! They were up front; the Scandinavians stood further back, but they also knew the lyrics; and in between: all the new members of the Kaizers family!
Kaizers started with I ett med verden, followed by Knekker deg til sist – uh, what?! I had expected them to play the same setlist as the day before in Vienna. That concert had been streamed live. And I had been looking forward to getting to hear Tusen dråper regn in Zurich, because they had only played that in Norway during last year’s festival summer, not in Europe… He he, guess I got my hopes down to soon, because it was the next song. =;-)
But of course the Jackal had to get an overview first where the audience came from. Six people from Norway, Denmark, and Sweden (always the same six, of course *g*), and the rest from Zurich. A good sign! So the Jackal announced that they had flown in a special guest star to join in a duet for the next song. None less than Hellraizer Kaizer, in his new handsome double-breasted suit of course! And as you probably guessed, the next song was Din kjole lukter bensin, mor. And by then it really started to show that the audience obviously knew the new songs as well, because they loved that song – and even more so the following En for orgelet, en for meg (where they did the part with the concert drum again!).
And this is the moment where the style of this report goes from “by the way, this was a great concert” to “Waaaah! Just awesome! What the hell was that, soooo amazing!!”. OK, maybe a little better worded. *g*
At that point in time, the audience got really into the concert. They were really enthusiastic, and so of course the Jackal animated the audience more and more, and everyone went along. And in addition, this was the very first time that we were asked to sing in German “Eins für DIE Orgel, eins für mich”! Which is grammatically correct! In contrary to “eins für das Orgel”, what we had to sing last year… *g* Yay! And I always thought that the Jackal WANTED to sing it wrong… *lol*
The next song was an old one that they had re-recorded a while ago… hmm, okay… “Die Polizei”, or which song? Naah, come on, that doesn’t fit, in the middle of the concert?! Well, I was wrong again. Not Die Polizei. But: Kavalér. Uh… what?! What the hell?!? Just like that? At a normal concert? Yeeeeaaaah! Wow. =:-D
They continued in a more “usual” way, but by that time, Kaizers had already proven that they manage to surprise you, over and over again! And of course the audience was hanging on their lips; everyone was dancing, jumping, and singing. So nice… =:-)
Next up were KGB and Bøn fra helvete (with Omen stacking the working gloves to pass the time *g*). After that, the Jackal noticed that apparently, there was a soprano in the audience – at least that’s how it sounded. And of course he had to imitate that. =;-) And the next song was a song to which you can really say “aaaah” (imagine that sung in a soprano voice, of course *g*): Kontroll på kontinentet!
This time without the band introduction, but you hardly noticed that this was missing. During Bak et halleluja, we had to repeat the “wop” before the verse until we got it right in gypsy style. After that, we got a traditional, composed by Janove’s great-grandfather: Resistansen. Once more, the Jackal was a bit overwhelmed by his artistic streak, and he started improvising excessively. When the audience stood with their hands in the air during the “ooooh” part later on, he finally got to try out the trick that a Danish artist told him to do in Switzerland: just wave the arm. And it worked: the whole audience magically did a La Ola! Actually, it worked so well that the whole band looked a bit baffled. *gg*
Next, we got the big hit single Hjerteknuser, and then Svarte katter & flosshatter. As always, Omen was the big star of that song! Not only because he seemed to be on a ghost hunt whenever he was not playing (at least that’s what it looked like *g*), but of course because of his performance on the megaphone. And after his second part, he didn’t need a comb this time – well, of course not, without hair… – he just twirled his mustache. *g* And by the way, Kaizers have been trying to convince him to finally record his solo record, but no success up to now… =;-)
As conclusion, Kaizers played Maestro and 170, before they had to leave the stage (they were running late already…). The audience demanded more, but there was no time for that – still, the atmosphere was just amazing, and this was the proof that Kaizers had managed to conquer the audience completely. This is always soooo great to see! =:-)
Afterwards, Caligola were… hmm, not really interesting, I would say. Some of the songs were quite nice, but all in all, it didn’t catch on. And the gowns were just silly. As a result, people started to leave pretty soon, and the audience was rather quiet. So all in all, Kaizers might not have been the last band of the night, but for many they were definitely the headliner! =:-)
So, and now the tour really starts! After three friends made it down from Norway, the group for the remainder of the tour is now complete. =:-) Tonight: Zurich. I already knew the venue from a concert of another band; but back then, it was full… When we arrived just before Jarle Bernhoft was supposed to come on stage, there weren’t really a lot of people there yet. But fortunately that changed until Kaizers came on! To keep it short (and that’s what I want to do, right? *g*): The venue seemed crowded, the audience was excited, had put on their dancing shoes, and were willing to sing, and the concert was great!
During the gypsy part, the Jackal just jumped into the audience… “Make some space, I wanna dance!” – why does he always do that in Switzerland, by the way? *g* After a bit of dancing, he ended up in the first row. Seemed a bit like he had seen it once or twice before how people in the front row behave… *lol*
As mentioned, the audience was willing to sing. And they sang loudly! During Maestro, the audience sang the whole bridge part, and it worked out just fine – for the first time on this tour. And during the introduction, there was no need for the Jackal to name all the colors in which Hellraizer looks good; the audience did that on their own.
As before, they really stretched Omens part in Svarte katter, with a very very long pause afterwards, where NOTHING happened (except for the audience cheering, of course *g*). But then Omen paid his dues for that lateron, when he started to play Ompa til du dør – which wasn’t on the setlist for today… oops. =;-)
This time they didn’t only ask who was from Norway, Sweden, or Denmark – but also from Italy, the UK, or the US. And well… why are there NEVER Americans at the concerts? Kaizers go on tour so much, but the Americans never come! *lol*
(Complaints about that remark should go to Kaizers and not to me, thank you. *gg*)
In the end, they ran out of time, unfortunately. I assume there would have been more encores if there hadn’t been a strict curfew at 10 pm. So they argued a bit about whether they had time to play another song, and then they took 170 as last song of the night. And the Jackal hit the oil barrel with such force that the bat broke…
The setlist: Intro, Delikatessen, Djevelens orkester, Señor Torpedo, Veterans klage, Sigøynerblod, Resistansen, Philemon Arthur & The Dung, Din kjole lukter bensin mor, En for orgelet en for meg, Psycho under min hatt, Svarte katter & flosshatter, Sju bøtter tårer er nok Beatrice, Bøn fra helvete, Kontroll på kontinentet, Maestro. Encore KGB and 170.
They would have played Diamant til kull as well, but as the audience loudly claimed that they didn’t want to hear a pop song, they hopped over it. *grmbl* But that was the only downer of an otherwise awesome concert! =:-)
About a month ago, Xutos posted on Facebook that the first tour dates for 2011 are out. I checked them – maybe I could plan my summer vacation around a concert again? First date: Zürich. Zürich?!? Waaah!
OK, actually it was Bülach, but if you’re 2000 km away, that’s probably the same. =;-) I dug out my Portuguese, managed to arrange a ticket, and started looking forward. At the same time wondering what that would be… I mean, Xutos in Switzerland?! Who will go see them there? Sure, the Portuguese that live in the area, ’cause I doubt that any Swiss or German people have heard about Xutos (except for a handful that has lived in Portugal, maybe). So a concert in front of 200 people would be quite cool, right? But then – why do they use a venue that can take 2000 people?!
So I really didn’t have a clue what to expect. When I arrived, I was surprised to see so many cars and people around. And as soon as I went inside, I was completely flashed… Portuguese everywhere! Everyone who worked there was Portuguese (and spoke Portuguese of course), and the hall was filled (and I mean filled – ok, maybe not crammed, but definitely not empty!) with Portuguese people. I didn’t hear a single person speak German – ok, except for the guy at the box office who helped me translate, because hell… I need a few days to get used to Portuguese again. *g* However, I understood most of what was happening around me, and I just LOVED the atmosphere. Little Portugal, somewhere in Switzerland… I had no clue that so many Portuguese are living abroad… =:-)
Anyway, this was really a “happening”. Lots of Portuguese advertising stands, soccer transmission in the foyer, Portuguese food, … DJs were warming up the crowd, and by a quarter to midnight, Xutos finally came on!
I can’t come up with the setlist now, but it was a nice mixture of new and old songs. And this time, I actually knew the new songs as well – guess my visit to Worten payed off. *g* Hardly knew any lyrics though… *sigh* I definitely got some work to do there before the concert in Luxembourg…!
The atmosphere was great! In the beginning, however, it was a bit quiet, especially during the new songs (which isn’t unusual, of course). But as soon as they were playing one of their “hits”, the crowd would go crazy. “Não sou o único” – waah, that was amazing! Everyone was going nuts, and hey, that is the first Portuguese song I ever listened to. And I still remember the lyrics, yay! And this time they even played “Vida malvada”, which I had dearly missed last year in Évora… =:-D
I didn’t get much of the talk between the songs, but they didn’t really talk that much anyway. Instead, we got a lot of songs and almost two hours of concert! And the later the concert, the more enthusiastic the audience. Just terrific – I loved every second of it. And I think Xutos enjoyed it quite a bit as well, even though I had the feeling that they had to “work” quite a bit in the beginning to get the crowd excited. But they definitely managed that… =:-)
So now there’s no doubt that I’ll get on my way to Luxembourg as well – but I guess I’ll really need to study the lyrics (it’s so stupid to be at a concert if you can’t sing along… *grr*), and I guess I should also practice my Portuguese a bit until then… or how else am I gonna survive if I have the choice between Portuguese and _French_?!?
The new Kaizer album “Violeta, Violeta Vol. I” will be released on January 31 – and of course it must be advertised beforehand! So Janove and Øyvind set their sails towards Europe and did a short promo tour. First stops were Berlin, Copenhagen, and Vienna, and the fans reported enthusiastically about how great these shows (and the new songs!) were. And not only the fans had a great time, but the two Kaizers also reported excitedly about for example the “talk show” in Vienna – which was filmed, so it might (hopefully) be available online some time soon.
Now Zurich was the last city on the promo tour schedule. Unfortunately the circumstances were a bit different for this show. In Zurich, it hadn’t been possible to set up a promo event just for Kaizers, like in the other cities. Instead, the two played as opening act for the opening act for Paul Smith, who usually is the singer of Maximo Park. Accordingly, the preparations for the performance were quite chaotic: The stage was full, the pickups didn’t work, the sound was lousy. But eventually, everything was set, so the only thing missing was an audience… But there was nothing to fear there, because – time for a little side story – before Kaizers were announced as support for this concert, 50 tickets had been sold in advance. Afterwards, the number went up to 200… It’s left to you to decide whether there might be a connection or not. =;-)
The hall didn’t get crowded, but it filled up quite okay – probably not with Kaizer fans though. I spotted maybe one or two that were there clearly because of Kaizers… not more. But that didn’t do any harm! The rest of the audience gave the pre-opening act a chance and seemed interested and eager to see what they would present. Of course there was hardly any interaction – the two presented their songs and promoted the album, no more, no less! They started with the amazing new song “Psycho under min hatt”, before Janove started to explain who they are and what they want. “This is Kaizers Orchestra! Not the full orchestra though. But the core and the heart of the band!” He he, don’t let the others hear that. =;-) The next songs were “Din kjole lukter bensin, mor” and “Femtakt filosofi”, before they finished with an old song (“Who has seen Kaizers before?”) , namely “Di grind”.
That was all already – the songs worked perfectly well with piano, bass and vocals, they gave a great foretaste of the album, and why does it actually take two more months until the album will be out?!? Overall, the performance was quite “down-to-earth”, as was to expect. But it was awesome! =:-D And by the way, you can watch it here: part 1, part 2!
But the promo work wasn’t done after the gig – right after the concert, the two did an interview, and I was allowed to be fly on the wall. And afterwards, I got to ask my own “leftover” questions that hadn’t been answered by the interview (which were just about all of them since the interview was pretty much the standard “would you introduce yourself to our readers/listeners” stuff)!
Actually, this was a bit improvised, I hadn’t really planned to do an interview. So that’s why you won’t get a nice typed-out dialogue now, but simply the interesting new facts. All from memory. =;-)
Let’s start off with a quote from the real interview. Question: “What can the fans of the ‘old’ Kaizers Orchestra expect now?” Well, very simple: Øyvind got a new hat, and the pump organ player now has hair! (I really hope that I kept my composure at this point and my jaw didn’t drop. ‘Cause I did wonder about Helge’s thin hair in the Hjerteknuser video – but actually about him going bold. NOT about him having hair at all. *uhem* Damn, how many times have I seen this band?!? *lol*) Later on, Janove told that this was just the beginning, and they only have five studio albums up to now – so it seems we still got a lot to look forward to! “And we don’t get older”, Janove joked.
We already got to hear and read quite a lot about the trilogy itself, so I didn’t ask about it again. But since Kaizers are taking on Europe again now – “trying to build it up again from scratch, with new people”- how do they expect that the Europeans respond to the trilogy? Because unlike the Scandinavians, most Europeans (except for the hardcore fans of course) won’t notice that the songs are related. Janove agreed – for the Europeans, the album is “just” a normal rock’n’roll album. And with the concept of the trilogy, they mainly want people in Europe to be… impressed! =;-)
The first song that was written for the trilogy was “Din kjole lukter bensin, mor”. The first lyrics, however (the first seven or eight songs were already composed, but they didn’t have lyrics yet) was “Sju bøtter tårer er nok, Beatrice”. Quite interesting considering that this song was also one of the first of the trilogy that were made public!
What was the hardest part in the studio, or what took the most effort? Nothing was really hard, the two agreed. “It was the best studio session we’ve had. Everything was prepared, and it was so easy.” The most difficult thing for Øyvind was probably that the recordings took place in Bergen, where he lives – and that he therefore had to get up at 6 a.m. every morning, even though the work didn’t start before eleven. But seriously: As always, the songs were recorded live, and often the first or second take was fantastic, so they could use it. For some songs it was more difficult, however, and there simply was no “fantastic” take – and Øyvind explained that they know by experience that if this “fantastic” version doesn’t appear in the first five or six takes, it will never come.
Kaizers were certain that the most difficult song to record would be “Philemon Arthur & The Dung”. Actually, the song is very simple, but it got a little “twist”, a little hard arrangement that makes the song quite special – and complicated, Jan Ove explained. Accordingly, they had scheduled more time for this song than for others. And the result: The first attempt was great, and it took five minutes to record the song! But they could use the extra time for “Sju bøtter tårer er nok, Beatrice” – that song seemed very simple, but in the end, it took forever to record it…
As Kaizers mentioned in several interviews, you can imagine the 30 songs of the trilogy as scenes of a movie, or maybe an opera. However, they are not in order but present little bits and pieces of the story. So, if you look at all songs together, will this give the complete story? Not quite, the two said. But they will provide a “context” for each song, which explains what it is about.
A somehow special song of the album is “En for orgelet, en for meg”, because there will be three different versions of the song: one with guest rapper Prinz Pi for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, one with Blaxtar for the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, and finally Timbuktu for Sweden and probably Norway. When they selected the rappers, Kaizers didn’t look for people who were famous. For example Prinz Pi: Kaizers asked for a “good guy” whose vibe would fit the “Kaizers vibe”. The people they work with recommended Prinz Pi, who is also in the same category as Kaizers and fills venues of about the same size; so they selected him.
Next up was a short Norwegian lesson for me: The song takes on the current Norwegian youth culture, with a little irony and humor, of course. The original “guest rap” part is done by a fourteen-year-old Norwegian girl, and the words that she uses (like “liksom” and “og sånn”) are veeeery representative of the way the youth talks, Janove explained. And in addition, the content is very naive, assuming that you could simply pack your bags and leave and learn how to turn water into wine – “and such…” He started rapping the rhymes right away to explain what he was talking about, and then he wanted to know how one could express that in German. “Nicht wahr?” But I guess Prinz Pi knows much more about the way the kids talk nowadays than I do, so I’m REALLY looking forward to hear the German version!
Of course I also wanted to know how the current plans for the tour look like. The countries are the same as on the last tours – maybe, if it actually works out, they might be able to add in a first visit to Italy (and of course an off day there as well *g*) this time. But this isn’t confirmed yet, so it might not happen at all. Overall and roughly speaking, Kaizers will tour one week in Denmark, then one in Sweden, and finally two and a half weeks in Europe. Norway will also get some concerts, of course, but that will be announced separately. As support they will take along Jarle Bernhoft. “He’s incredibly musical and delivers a great one-man show.” Sounds great! And not very surprisingly, Kaizers Orchestra will play festivals in summer as well. There’s no names yet (as it’s either not set where they will play or it cannot be announced yet), but as always, there will be festivals all over Europe.
One last question: What will be the difference between the “normal” Violeta, Violeta Vol. I and the limited edition? Will there really be more songs for those who visited the studio tour – like people were guessing? No, according to Janove. “The limited edition will be a deluxe version of the album, with better artwork and layout. It will feel even better! I guess it’s best to describe it with a metaphor: If you drink a good wine, you can drink it from a milk glass. Or you can drink it from a crystal glass! The content is the same, but it does make a huge difference… Yes, that’s a good metaphor for this. From now on, we’ll always explain it like this when somebody asks us about it!”
Great, so all my questioning resulted in something useful in the end! *g* I hope I quoted everything correctly – sometimes it would be smarter to record instead of take notes, I guess… *cough*
A huge Thank You to Kaizers for all this information, for patiently bearing my questioning, for the wonderful gig (that definitely made me want MORE again), and overall – for the great evening! And okay… how long is it until late January now…? =:-)
Nach einem Off-Tag nun also ein kleiner Ausflug in die Schweiz… Aber da man sich ja schließlich nicht drei Tage, bevor die neue Vignette gilt, noch eine für 2009 leistet, war die Fahrt eher abenteuerlich. =;-) Mein Navi lässt sich zwar gerne sagen, dass es keine Mautstraßen verwenden soll, es leitet einen dann aber doch immer und ständig auf grüne Straßen. *seufz* Aber hey, wofür hat man ein Zweit-Navi, und als wir dann beide parallel laufen hatten, kamen wir doch tatsächlich gut an… =;-) … weiterlesen!
Hmm. This concert was weird, somehow. And I’m not quite sure why…
... read on!