• Mixed impressions - Dynamics lost

    9. Nov. 2011, 12:58

    Tue 8 Nov – Fleet Foxes, Alela Diane First of all some of the songs were really worth hearing at this concert. I was amazed on how LOUD you can play Fleet Foxes. The louder the better in fact, which is kind of unusual for me to say. Some of the songs continued in a load wall of sound that was just amazing. Mixed with the amazing voices in harmony. Stunning. The problem I had with this concert is that the venue/the audience did not allow for the full dynamics of the songs. First of all, this venue is a standing up place. We usually end up standing in the back, in the bar-section at the fence to the general open floor. This has always worked well, but this time it was simply not good. First of all, I think they have increased the maximum number of ticket by almost 50%, it was packed. Secondly the audience back there showed very little respect for the music. I do not understand why you pay all that money to go to a concert to stand in a bar and have the concert "as a background". We will change strategy next time (if?) we go there. On top of that I do not think Fleet Foxes are well suited for sing along. They are extremely hard to top actually.

    I was very curious on Alela Diane, and really like here music. Unfortunately they have mixed her voice so the loudspeaker could not cope with it. Otherwise very well played with support from father Tom and boyfriend Tom on guitars. I would like to hear her again in a smaller venue.

    Fleet Fox in my view delivered as expected, but I actually become a little tired toward the end, and I was probably not the only one, as many started to leave before the end of the concert.
  • Magic and exquisite

    24. Okt. 2011, 4:24

    lör 22 okt – PJ Harvey
    So today I have read most of the reviews of PJ Harvey's concert yesterday evening. It was certainly as good or better than what all the reviews said, but more about that further down.  PJ and me go back to the excellent record, to bring you my love, but it has been resting since her last record, Let England Shake was released, and it has been this years favorite companion.
    The background for me ending up at the concert was slightly more chaotic than usual. I totally missed the release of the tickets, but after the first concert sold out I managed to grab a couple of tickets high up on the balcony. I read other reviews and it has been commented several times that those seats are well-known for the bad visibility. Nevertheless I was still SO happy to have tickets at all. On Thursday this week they released more tickets ( as announced from PJ's page on Facebook). Oh what joy, I managed to get tickets for seats right in the middle on 13th row. Being used to seated concerts I know that these seats are actually among the best in the whole room. 
    Now for the concert, it was announced to start at 8 and no warm-up act. That meant early dinner, and the beers had to be drunk before going to the church. Yes, PJ would actually sing in a church, but, since here latest record is actually recorded in a church it makes sense to me. We had a good dinner at Raw, a sushi and grill place located right across from the church. That eating was probably a 4/5 experience.
    When we wanted to go in there was a long line outside, but everything went quickly. We skipped borrowing a songbook of hymns, and went right to the seats, that was comfy for being in a church. The audience was very excited in a very solemn way. This concert is not entertainment in the ordinary sense, but almost serious business. On the scene it was clear  that the band would be seated to the far right. The instruments was placed on old wooden furnitures and there were a few illuminated tables with glasses of water. To the left was a single microphone stand. The background solid black... A lot of black in this concert.
    At about 8.15 everybody was seated and the 3 man band came in all dressed in black and took seat. The band consisting among other of John Parish, PJ's constant sidekick these days. After them PJ glided in , dresses in a black Victorian dress, black feathers in her hair and hugging an Autoharp. The audience went all silent, and someone actually could hush the audience without anyone laughing.  They started to play Let England Shake, the version very close to one in the record. This was perfection. And it continued... Most of the music was from her most recent album. Between the songs PJ just disappeared into the darkness, and came back, either with a guitar or the Autoharp. She always left the microphone in the stand. She did not say a ward until the start of the encore when she presented the band. Usually I do not like that with artists, but this time the songs were so strong by themselves. The sound was exquisite, and not a single time I needed to bring up the earplugs (a very strong sign of good sound in my view). Her voice is excellent, and there were not a single problem to follow her line. The new songs sounded exactly like on the record.  The older songs were redone in a more acoustic way, and she sang them with a less grungy feeling, time moves on. I was sometimes moved to tears by the songs, but in a very good way.
    For me it is not possible comment this concert without drawing parallels to the Patti Smith concert earlier this year. Botha a very political, but the ways to express this is so very different. PJ choose a very Victorian serious approach, whereas Patti is the agitator with a fist in the air. Still their very strict control of the music and the way they both interact with the band is very similar. Just wonder when PJ Harvey will be voted into Rock n Roll hall of fame, and get the Polar Prize. Probably she has to quite writing new music first and become a historic icon. I hope I will be there when she has her Polar Music concert.
    Until then, I just have to wait until I can se her and her band again. 
  • Solid performance

    4. Okt. 2011, 0:39

    lör 1 okt – Beirut, Lætitia Sadier

    So this was a first experience to do the Reservation and getting the tickets internationally. Worst was that I could not get the Ticketfast option. So I had to do it will call... To me it meant I had to be there well in advance. It worked out better than I thought, and the BART connection worked out fine. The concert was good, not the best I have seen, but the Beirut is not on the top of the list of my favorite bands. It was annoying that people started to leave before the concert was over, but it meant that I could move forward for the final pieces of the act. Much more screaming and less clapping and dancing than I am used to from a concert like this.

    The sound were I was seated was not the best, A lot of echoes sometimes prevented an excellent listening experience.
  • Season Opening always something special

    16. Sep. 2011, 13:22

    Thu 15 Sep – Säsongsöppning

    This is the forth season with the same seat, so it was fun to connect to our nice neighbors again. For the first time the king was not there for the opening. It is after all the royal symphony orchestra. But it did not change a lot in reality. Sakari Oramo had decided to celebrate 2 birthdays, Mahler and Liszt. Mahler was a pretty short piece (Totenfeier) and magnificent as usual. The Liszt piece was an interpretation of Faust wich was pretty varied. It was also quite a marathon 75 minutes in 3 movements (Faust, Gretchen and Mephisto). The last 10 minutes was absolutely magnificent with Organ, Orchestry, Man-Choir and Tenor.
  • Always fun with Popaganda

    1. Sep. 2011, 9:55

    Fri 26 Aug – Popaganda
    This is the third time I enjoyed Popaganda. The setting is the same as the last three years: Eriksdalsbadet. I think it is a good combination of city environment and some grass to enjoy the concerts in if the weather is good. This year it really felt like the last two days of real summer and it is booth a benefit and sometimes a pity. Both days had their giants in my view. But Arcade Fire, seeing them for the first time was absolutely stunning. It is the best festival concert I have seen since Nick Cave a few years ago. Lykke Li on Saturday gave a solid performance as usual and here songs are already classics of course dominated by her newer songs from her last record. Midlake was also a very enjoyable experience. Jenny Wilson and Henrik Berggren was excellent for a little sunshine in the grass.

    In all it was the best Popaganda I have been to. It really takes some effort to make next year concert to an even better experience.
  • Amazing

    1. Sep. 2011, 8:00

    Wed 31 Aug – Patti Smith So how do you actually review a performance like this? Maybe starting in 1979 I was about to leave high-school. I remember one party at a class-mate´s where we put on the record and danced the whole class to Because the Night. Somehow for a long time that was my sole experience of Patti Smith. I have always known that Patti is something you should listen to, but among all the flood of music I had kept pushing it up. So then she won the Polar Price, and all of the sudden I started to listen. Of course I found music I had actually heard and liked many times before. Sorry for sounding pathetic, it is almost like you start to read a nobel prize winner only after the price is awarded.

    Anyway, listening to a concert in a venue that is actually made for playing in is a great experience. You can actually hear the music very balanced (I guess in the whole hall). It means that the traditional ear-plugs stayed in my pocket during the whole concert. Of course it is different where everybody sit down, and there is a "fighting" and dancing in front of the stage. But the energy and enthusiasm in the very mixed audience showed that it works anyway. I was amazed on what a great voice Patti has. Some of the songs actually sounded better in the concert than any of the old recordings. She played all her most classical songs, and a few that were new to me (look above for explanation), starting with Redondo Beach and ending with Gloria and Rock n Roll Nigger. What differs this concerts to all others I have been to is the emphasis on the text. Every word was audible, and was strengthened by gestures and body-language. This does not mean that the band was unimportant. Especially Lenny Kaye on the stage complemented and backed Patti in an extraordinary way.

    This was a great experience
  • Sophisticated Elegance

    11. Mai. 2011, 8:32

    Tue 10 May – Sade, The Jolly Boys
    For once the warm-up band was a very nice surprise for me. The Jolly Boys was more Jolly than Boys, but still very good. They really got the arena started with their music. I had not heard a lot of mento music before, and a big help is of course that you have cover music such as Rehab where you recognize the music.

    After a shorter wait than usual the waiting for Sade was over. For me Sade was one of the bands that defined the 80s for me. Especially Promise. I had actually forgot how much I loved that music. With the new Album some of that feeling and joy have returned. My expectation on how Sade could really work in a big arena was not that big, but they managed by using an very nice scene show,, with colored drapes sky-lifts and video projections.

    The show started with an explosions and red drapes that seemed the vanish into thin air. The band started to play Soldier of Love as they were raised from below. Sade (the singer) dressed in black immediately connected with the audience, her presence has almost like a royal presence and she totally dominated the show with very subtle means and gestures that were showed on big-screen TVs. After that followed a very ambitions scene show were each song had it´s own setting. The band went through three changes of clothes that reflected the setlist. I had still easier to enjoy some of the earlier work and highlights for me was Smooth Operator, The Sweetest Taboo and especially Jezebel. All in all I was VERY happy with the show-

    Now when the first very positive reviews are coming out I must add that Sade Adu herself is of course a brilliant singer. Nobody can express feelings as she does. For those of you interested in the full setlist, here is the spotify url
  • A memory for rlife

    5. Mai. 2011, 15:21

    Wed 4 May – Roger Waters
    30 years ago I was a young man. I remember reading about this fantastic show with Pink Floyd, and I wished I could have been there. 30 years later I am still young in mind and realize I wished I had been there (!).The music I have always been coming back to. Seeing the show with Roger Waters live showed that this is still the most impressive you could see. I am not discriminating and have seen really big sets with artists like Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Madonna and even Lady Gaga. This is something so impressively big so it just leaves you with your mind totally open and impressed. Perfect sound, Updated visual effects pyrotechnics, an appreciation that EVERYBODY in the arena should have value for money (not just the 4 front rows. Of course you can dislike the music (I don´t), you can dislike the message (which would be hard) or you can dislike Mr Waters himself. I would still think it would be hard to leave Globen an evening like this without being affected.

    I like all the music myself but as expected the music I liked best are also that music that affected me most. My favourite number one was definitely Comfortably Numb, that was soo impressive so it is probably the best I ever heard live. My second big moment was Good Bye Blue Sky, with the projection of bomb-planes flying and bombarding us with religious symbols and corporate logos (why not Mac Donalds). All in all an amazing experience.

    Thank you
  • Volume volume

    2. Mai. 2011, 20:07

    Mon 2 May – Lykke Li, Anna von Hausswolff

    As expected wonderful performance from both these talented ladies. I really loved Anna singing duet with her sister Maria in the warmup. Converting her ballads into psychedelic rock worked for me. With the wall coming up on Wednesday it was I nice touch. Lykke showed she is our new star. Some of her tunes worked really well. I must say that the volume was way too high. In this arena it is not needed, an sometimes the music was partly destroyed by distortion. The audience also showed that Monday evening concerts is not always the best idea.
    Visually Lykke showed the beauty of Grey.
  • Liked it

    25. Nov. 2010, 9:37

    Mon 22 Nov – Marina & the Diamonds, Hollywood Kill

    Having a concert extent into the late monday night is not my thing really... The warm-up act did not add anything for me really, but once Marina was on the stage I forgot the morning after and simply enjoyed. It was short, but in my view extremely good. I think this lady will go far. Best track in my view Shampain. 4 changes of clothes in one hour is also impressive...