Archive for the 'Music' Category

Svenska Ögonblick at Friends Arena

October 29, 2012

It was a spectacular show. Yes, colourful and spectacular. Full-on with no breaks because it was being broadcast live on television. And that’s what it was made for. Television.

Being there in the arena was nice and of course it felt really special. Actually honourable. It was the inauguration of the new national arena in Sweden. The biggest arena in Sweden. The Friends Arena with a capacity of up to 67 500 spectators depending on the event. And I was there for the first event ever being held.

Swedish Moments is what Svenska Ögonblick means. Everything Swedish. But they failed to inform the audience in the arena about that. Man next to me asked who Icona Pop were and if they were Swedish. I only knew, because I recognised the song from listening to the radio, which I wouldn’t if it wasn’t for the job I have at the moment spending hours driving around the country. Still, I wasn’t a hundred percent sure if Icona Pop were Swedish but said they should be due to the occasion.

So seeing pretty much all of Sweden in the last four weeks, it was great timing for me to see the show. But it would have been nice to have gotten a presentation of each act. Or if there had been a program handed out. Or if the performers themselves could have said a few words.

And the seats were quite uncomfortable but the view was great. Seems like it’s the kind of arena where it doesn’t matter where you sit you will have a good view.

It was a good show and I’ll probably remember it for the rest of my life. Roxette performed songs from when I was a little kid going to school dances. Slow dancing to the last song It Must Have Been Love and the sing along song The Look.

Ooh… and I saw our beautiful crown princess Victoria!

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Kanye West and Jay-Z – Watch The Throne in Stockholm

June 30, 2012

First thing, it was outstanding. Perfect. Yes, pretty close to perfect.

Fourth time I see Kanye and I said it probably would be the last. Now I doubt it.

It was about a month ago. If I hadn’t been there to experience it in person, I would have regretted it for the rest of my life, maybe. At least for a while.

So, it all started in 2008 when I went to my first Kanye concert in Bournemouth. His mother had just died and it was very emotional. It’s always very emotional with Kanye but that time it was special and he brought something extra, which wasn’t there the second or third time I saw him. A bit of humility, maybe.

Obviously, my little crush started with Through the Wire and it got deeper with Jesus Walks. College Drop-out was just great. I was listening to it back-to-back for a long time. It still is on my iPod. Late Registration was good. But I didn’t and I haven’t listened to it as much.

Fact is, there isn’t one bad Kanye album. They’re all good and some are great. Graduation was great. First concert and where I learned to like Stronger because it was so much better live. I wasn’t very fond of it before. Good Life, my favourite because it always makes me happy and wanting to jump. And when he performed Hey Mama… it had to be hard.

808 & Heartbreak was different as we all know, I guess. With the Auto-Tune. It got great with time and I listened to it a lot. Concert number two was at Wireless in Hyde Park. Actually, being outside, in the sunset, summer breeze, it was a great setting for that music.

Then Power, Monster and Runaway came from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which I never learned to remember so I just copied it from Wikipedia. I haven’t actually listened to it that much but the video to Runaway was beautiful. The long version. 32 minutes something. And the dancers wore the same costumes at the concert at Way Out West in Gothenburg.

Prince, who performed the night before, stole the show so Kanye kind of ended up in the shadow. I thought he was trying too hard, there were the controversies, his arrogance but I realised later that the performance wasn’t that bad. Just not as good as Prince.

My little crush, or big crush wasn’t as deep anymore. I was getting more annoyed. Watching the Throne was already in the making and I didn’t bother much. There was some hype about that Otis song. Didn’t care much.

It took me a long time to actually listen to the album after it was released. It was only when I heard rumours of the tour coming to Sweden that I thought, oh well let me listen to it then. February, March sometime.

And when I did, one late night, I thought, I listen to a few songs and the rest at another time. No, I just kept on listening until the end. Like reading a book cover to cover, not being able to put it down. Another great one. Amazing. Arrogant. Powerful. Very powerful with great beats and rhymes.

With those lyrics, the pressure was on. They had an obligation to deliver. My expectations before the concert were really high, and I was prepared to get disappointed. Prepared for it being the last time I see Kanye. Not so sure anymore.

Suddenly, after about a 45-minute-wait, me expecting a supporting act, the lights turned off and they started playing the beat to Niggas in Paris, which changed to H.A.M and the show was on. There was no supporting act. But they didn’t really need one. I had hoped for something British though.

Kanye and Jigga came standing on one platform each on each side of the arena. The platforms slowly started raising higher and higher. Them standing on their own throne, sort of.

They performed almost all the tracks on the album and many others too of their own stuff, taking turns performing by themselves. I liked that. It was better to have two rappers to look at than just one.

Jay-Z kept it old school. It was more about the rapping while with Kanye it was more about giving a good show. I liked the variety.

It’s quite obvious that I’m not much of a Jay-Z fan. Never understood the point of him having a farewell tour or show, or why anyone has it. Just to to do a come-back a few years later. Anyway, he’s done some good stuff throughout the years, I’ve enjoyed the singles, listened to a few of the albums and it was awesome to see him do Izzo (H.O.V.A.), Big Pimpin, 99 problems, Dirt Off Your Shoulder and some other ones.

And it was nice to see Kanye do all of his singles, pretty much all of them. He could have skipped a few but if he hadn’t done Good Life I would’ve been a little disappointed, so good for him. I’m crushing again.

I can’t really say that Kanye or Jay-Z was better than the other. Wouldn’t have liked to see any of them on their own at that moment. They’ll made a good duo.

All in all, it started off with the perfect songs H.A.M, Who Gon Stop Me and Otis. And it ended with the perfect song. Niggas in ‘Stockholm’. How many times did they repeat it? I lost count after three. They could have repeated it ten more times and I’d still go crazy each time, and so would the crowd. They definitely were in their zone.

There was so much energy from both, they went H.A.M for over two hours. Absolutely unforgettable. They even said it “You will remember this moment for the rest of your life,” and I will. I want to say that I think it was the best concert ever, I think it might be…

UB40

May 21, 2012

Image

It was nostalgia. Recognising the songs. Knowing that I’ve heard them but not really knowing them. It took me back to the time when I was a little child in the kitchen listening to what mother was playing on the LP player.

It was cool to see Ali Campbell and his UB40 live. Even though it was outside, and it was raining. The warm reggae music kept us warm.

Obviously, I recognised the big hits and could sing along to I Can’t Help Falling In Love, I Got You Babe and their version of Purple Rain. But the one I was really waiting for was Red Red Wine.

The song mother recorded on a tape back to back, on both sides. Those were the times 90 minutes of Red Red Wine. Surprisingly, or not, I do like the song. And a glass of red now and then.

D’Angelo, is he back?

February 13, 2012

D’Angelo is coming to Europe I heard. Oh that’s nice but I saw him in 2000 and he was great. It won’t be the same thing. He’s older, probably won’t have the same energy. I didn’t want to ruin the memories. So I didn’t get any tickets.

Then I heard of the extra concert and oh well, why not. He started the tour in Stockholm and closed it in Stockholm at the Filadelfia church. A funny venue but it was all right.

So there I was Friday night. The supporting act, Swedish soul singer Aleks sang a few tracks. Not bad at all but there was something missing. Back-up singers. Then there was a long wait. So long I started wondering if D’Angelo would really show up. More than an hour later and after lots of cheering, soundcheck. Playa Playa and he was there. Feels Like Makin’ Love. And then Devil’s Pie and Chicken Grease. Definitely, he still got the energy. The six-pack may be gone but he’s still hot. To die for.

Yes, I’ve seen the pictures of him not looking so good, so hopefully he won’t get back to that. I really hope he’s back now because the world need some good music. It was nice hearing some of the new songs and I’m looking forward to the album.

But hearing his old songs was like reliving one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to in 2000. And when he lighted the cigarette, everybody knew, Brown Sugar. And playing one single note to the beautiful Untitled (How Does It Feel), which the whole audience was waiting for. After that one note he stopped, took a breath and continued playing the piano to the part just before he’s supposed to start singing and he stops again. Teasing. He stands up, leans against the piano, puts his face in his hands. Emotions. Yes, he did go back and finished the song.

He might have been a little late but it was absolutely worth it. So worth it. I’m happy I saw him again and if I get the chance I’ll do it again. Because after listening to Brown Sugar and Voodoo, the only two albums released, the tracks sound so much better live.

My summer of music, and what a summer it was

September 13, 2011

Prince - Purple Rain - Way Out West 2011

Janelle Monae - crowd sitting down at Way Out West 2011 The Hives - crowd sitting down at Way Out West 2011

The Streets - Mike Skinner floating on the crowd

Kanye West performing Runaway - Way Out West 2011

Music is always better when it’s live and 2011 has been a big year for me. Earlier this year I saw Sade, Adele and Blackstreet. And this summer, which is now over or is it still late summer, has been filled with music. Music makes my world go round.

It started with Busy Signal in July. Two days at the festival Way Out West in mid August. A night of hip hop in late August.

Highlights

Waiting for Prince (I have seen Prince) to come on stage. An unbelievable moment to see a legend like him, even though I’m not a big fan. And when he played Purple Rain and the air was filled with purple confetti.

Wiz Khalifa’s energy and cuteness. And that he got the crowd dancing to a house track at the end leaving the stage without hardly anyone noticing because we were all dancing.

First Janelle Monae and then The Hives, both in black and white, getting the crowd to sit down.

Feeling like I was 15 again jumping to Swedish hiphopper Petter’s 90s hits. Så Klart, Vinden Har Vänt, Mikrofonkåt.

The Streets being on their last tour. Brits are among the funnest people. And why I love that country so much. Mike Skinner was great, fun, crazy, joking and telling off some guys in the crowd that were fighting.

Disappointments

Busy Signal should have come back out for an extra. Santigold excusing herself for having a cold. T-Pain.

Kanye West. My direct reaction was disappointment. He performed his hits, he talked a little bit and that was it. It was the third time I saw him so expectations were higher than they should be. But then it feels like he promises a lot and considering he was headlining…

In reflection he was all right. It was good but he should have come out for an extra number. Can’t be easy to perform the night after Prince. Runaway was his best of the night, very emotional. Til next time!

Prince - Way Out West 2011Petter  - Yes! Open Air - All Star Stockholm Festival, Stockholm 2011

Janelle Monae - Way Out West 2011 The Hives - Way Out West 2011

Wiz Khalifa - Way Out West 2011T-Pain - Yes! Open Air - All Star Stockholm Festival, Stockholm 2011

MF Doom - Way Out West 2011Timbuktu  - Yes! Open Air - All Star Stockholm Festival, Stockholm 2011

Robyn - Way Out West 2011Tallest Man On Earth - Way Out West 2011

The Streets  - Yes! Open Air - All Star Stockholm Festival, Stockholm 2011Santigold - Way Out West 2011

Kanye West - Way Out West 2011Veronica Maggio and Petter  - Yes! Open Air - All Star Stockholm Festival, Stockholm 2011

Busy Signal - KB, Malmö 2011

SADE

May 15, 2011

It’s about quality not quantity!

It’s something different when you see musicians perform that have been around for a while, which I truly appreciated when seeing Sade Tuesday night.

I had the chance to see the amazing Sade perform live and I would do it again. Only thing is that it might be in another ten years time or so if they ever decide to tour again.

Now, that it’s been made clear to me that Sade is also the name of the band and not just the beautiful singer Helen Folasade Adu, I have to give credit to the band who’ve stuck together for so many years. Even though it’s the singer’s voice that I love.

So soothing, so serene. Perfect to relax and listen to before falling asleep, which did worry me a little bit. What if… but no, it wasn’t possible, it was a breathtaking performance. One of the best.

The deepness of her voice, the sax and guitar solos, the visuals with the curtains covering the stage (see image).

All the great hits and the new tracks. Not much talk between the songs, no need for it. She was very sweet and I was awestruck by her beauty. At 52 she’s a well conserved woman. No Madonna or Whitney Houston.

And no fuss about clothes, no spectacular outfits, just nicely tailored sophisticated pieces. The heels were changed to pumps then to bare-feet.

Favourite song? Don’t ask because there are too many. Best of the night? They were all good but the ones that stood out were Pearls, Sweetest Taboo with Sade bare-feet in a long white dress and red bra, Smooth Operator with an introductory video clip, great stage setting and was then followed by the mind-blowing Jezebel.

I was touched, it touched all my senses and definitely my heart – it was a night filled with lessons in love.

Adele @ Debaser Medis

March 28, 2011

Expectations. Something I try to keep to a minimum but it all depends on the occasion. It can often result in disappointment. But I knew, Adele with her great voice, would be so much better live. Listening to her at home, I told my mum “Just imagine her singing live.”

So, yeah this time I had high expectations, and only realised it when my friend told me she didn’t expect her to be that good. We all got goosebumps and I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

She’s got a remarkable talent and I love her Cockney accent.  When she talks, she’s just like any other London girl. I was wondering how it would be in between songs, remembering her youngish street yet mature style from being a commentator for X Factor’s Xtra Factor. She was very down-to-earth, cussing, joking and speaking her mind.

The night before the show she’d been to a bar, Vassa Eggen, telling she got very drunk and was the only one dancing to Beyoncé.  And later she said that she still can’t work out what to do with her body when singing her more uptempo songs. She was very funny getting the audience laughing several times and it was fun to know about her personal experiences, the reasons why she had written some of the songs and who and what they were about.

Daydreamer, about her first love. Take It All, about someone she hates. My Same, about a friend she fell out with, which she’s friends with again now and that she normally doesn’t perform it but was fun to do it now. I actually had it as my ring signal a while back so I was very happy to hear it.

It was Adele’s first time in Stockholm and I actually don’t know how famous she’s in Sweden. Hearing the people around, I heard some German, French, English and English with foreign accents. And maybe that’s why she was in such a small venue. Still, it was sold out.

I absolutely loved it. It could have been a bit longer. One hour wasn’t enough for me and she could at least have come back out for one or two extra songs.

Still, I can’t wait for the next album and the next tour. At only 21, greater things will come for the amazing Adele and I’m keeping my expectations high.

Adele performing one of my favourites, Hometown Glory. Such a perfect song to start with.

Nelly and Kelly

March 21, 2011

In 2002 they had a Dilemma

In 2011 they’ve got each other Gone

It all started with sweet innocent forbidden flirtation. It turned out to be unresisting hot desire and maybe love. End of story.

They left the hood – Fun fact: it’s the same setting for Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane, one of my favourite shows – for the luxurious beach resort.

And Nelly seemed to have grown a bit but since they’re on a sandy beach, Kelly probably isn’t wearing any heels.

Dilemma was catchy and Gone is catchy too.

BLACKstreet

February 28, 2011

So, I went to visit a friend and coincidentally Blackstreet happened to be in town for a concert. And why not? Very exciting.

Haven’t cared much about the recent reunions and comebacks but it’s been going on for a while now so it’s almost weird for a band/group/artist not to make a re-appearance.

But I was very positive about seeing Blackstreet even though I wasn’t really into them back in the day. They were the cool guys.

Obviously, I remember the big hits No Diggity, Fix and then there was Joy and Don’t Leave Me.

And on the day of the show they delivered. There were abs, roses and a girl on the stage. It was fun. A bit short. But then, there were only three of them? Wonder what happened to the fourth one.

Born a . . . ?

February 14, 2011

Lady Gaga did it again. She stole the show. And it will happen again. And again.

People are still talking about the meat dress she wore for the VMAs last year. I know, because my post about it, is still getting hits. It was a shocker.

This time, it was at yesterday’s Grammy Awards where she won three of them.

Arriving in an egg carried by four men. Did anyone expect that? Another shocker. But she, or they, had five months to come up with it. Now, she’s gonna have to make these shocking moments way more frequent. The pressure is on. People won’t be expecting anything less.

Lady Gaga waited until her performance of Born This Way to be ‘born’ out of the egg. Not bad, not bad at all. The performance and the song that is. As for the clothes, they were animal-friendlier.