Posts Tagged ‘Stockholm’

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.

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.

H&M – Fashion Against Aids

April 27, 2011

Isn’t it great when you can buy things for yourself and still help others? H&M are collaborating with a bunch of celebs in this campaign and 25% is donated to charity.

To be specific, the money goes to HIV/Aids education and prevention projects as it says on the tag.

It makes shopping so much more worthwhile. Look at what I picked up today – a really nice vest, perfect for these nice hot sunny days that we’ve had in Stockholm recently.

I will wear it with pride. And honestly there were some really nice stuff in the “Fashion Against Aids” collection. Thank you H&M!

See the collection and learn more at www.hm.com or click on the image below.

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.

Wagamama

September 10, 2010

Just read the terrific news that a wagamama restaurant is opening in Sweden 17 October. I like it a lot.

It will be perfect to have a hot noodle soup to heat up from the freezing cold weather that is approaching.

I haven’t been to the pan-asian inspired noodle restaurant that many times, but always had a good experience. The food is fresh and mouth-watering.

I tend to go for the noodle soups, feels like it’s their specialty. They’re served in deep bowls with a lot of ingredients.

The wagamama ramen, for example, has  chicken, dory, prawn, kamaboko, tofu, mushroom, wakame and seasonal greens, garnished with menma and spring onion. It’s eaten with a wooden spoon but sometimes it’s good to use the sticks to roll the noodles.

wagamama ramen noodle soup

It’s cooked in open kitchens, so if you like you can have peek of what’s going on. It’s served directly as it gets done, so you might get your food before your friend. Not that great because I think they could time it so it all gets done at the same time.

There are many options in the menu, too many, because they always get me confused, and there’s a good variety of rice and noodle dishes and some salads. And you always get free green tea when food is ordered. Great concept.

The furnishing is quite simple with long wooden tables and benches. A bit of a fast-food restaurant feel about it, so not very fancy.

But it’s about the food, I always have a good, healthy feeling after eating at wagamama. It’s nutritious, low-fat and tasty.

The restaurant will be located in the Waterfront Building near the Central Station in Stockholm.

Now that they’ve been so clever to bring a wagamama to Sweden, why not open a Nandos as well. Seriously.

My source

Lisa Nilsson @ Kulturfestivalen

August 11, 2010

Lisa Nilsson 10 Aug 2010

At the beginning of summer I was desperate to go to a festival and with no money to buy tickets I signed up for a bunch of draws and competitions. I didn’t win any.

But luck has come my way anyway. Summer is full of festivals and some of them are actually free. Stockholm’s Kulturfestival started yesterday and it ends on Sunday.

The names of the acts may not be the most famous in the world but it gives life to the city. People can come and go as they want. Last night, I saw Lisa Nilsson. One of my favourite Swedish singers. Yeah, it’s her and Robyn, see previous post.

It was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Very soulful, very mature, very professional. The 39-year-old singer chose to dress her age (or older) in a knee-covering long-sleeve floaty dress. Quite impressive considering there are so many leggings and pants on stage these days.

And the singing? Great. Music is always better live. Actually, not always but this time it was. Credit to the band too. The trumpet player, especially, he just went on and on and on.

It started a bit slow, with slower songs to end on a more upbeat tone and more well-known songs. A bit of nostalgia for me who grew up in Sweden in the 90s to hear songs like Himlen Runt Hörnet, Vad Du Ser Är Vad Du Får and Varje Gång Jag Ser Dig.

It was also funny to hear about her escape to Rio de Janeiro to avoid the cold February blues in Sweden. How her bikini gradually minimised to the famous dental floss bottoms and where the men don’t care about tits and it’s all about bums.

Yes, it’s true. I could really relate to it having spent February in Brazil this year. And March, and April.

See Lisa Nilsson perform Varje Gång Jag Ser Dig at Swedish morning news show earlier this year: