The best concert at Bergenfest this year. I should say; so far, but I cannot imagine anyone topping this fantastic concert. We’ve seen John Grant three times in Bergen, and his audience keeps growing. It is well deserved, he’s an artist of global format. And when I say artist I mean that in the truest sense of the word. His lyrics are deep, personal and profound. His melodies are exceptional. A joy from beginning to end, we ravelled in melancholia and we danced. He is funny and he is sad, and he is brilliant! (Hallgeir)
An artist penetrating your mind with hard & beautiful poems. He’s real, he’s honest, he’s scary, he makes us think, wonder, understand & dream. What more to say?
Baby, you’re where dreams go to die.
I regret the day your lovely carcass caught my eye.
Baby, you’re where dreams go to die.
I’ve got to get away. I don’t want to, but I have to try.
Where Dreams Go To Die (Strongroom Session):
“Let’s make certain that we don’t get into too good a mood, here are some more depressing songs”
Musically The South are even more at “the west-coast” of USA this time, the country aspect is toned down (but there are traces of it still – great steel-guitar and some honky-tonk piano, I like that they haven’t abandoned it all.) It has that very recognizable guitar sound (“The South-sound”), but it has more “space” and is more dreamy in a way.
“We didn’t have that specific discussion this time, we told him (Bent Sæther, producer) a bit about what we wanted, in what direction we would like to go. “A bigger canvas” was an expression that came about early on. We wanted not to rush it, to give the songs more time.”
– Alexander Pettersen
The South is also an incredibly good live band, catch them if you get the chance!
I know you wanted me to grow up tall Not sure that I am man enough just yet to face it all I know this isn’t what you had in mind at all I hope it helps to know I’ll pick you up each time you fall (Dad)
Hallgeir: Different Eyes, The further inside you go…, Dad
Egil: The further inside you go…, Dad, Different Eyes
The South – The Further Inside You Go… (live in studio):
The rainy weather could not spoil this lovely day @ Bergenfest. We got some fantastic concerts & had a helluva time!
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
What a concert! My first show with Nick Cave, he stumbled through the first songs like an over-eager kid. Then he tightened his grip, he slammed us into the walls, he held us up to God’s jugdment and we felt like beaten sinners after the mass.I got all the songs that I hoped for, the highlights for me were; a ferocious Mercy Seat and a drawn out Stagger Lee that had the most “Motherfucks/-ing” in a song ever. And by the way, he is still the coolest motherfucker on the scene.The best concert at this years Bergenfest (so far).- Hallgeir
His presence was immediate.. he was in for the kill. Demanding & getting our full attention even though he was a bit rusty the first couple of songs. From Here To Eternity (#3) was intense, Weeping Song (#4) a bit out of focus, false start on Deanne (#6), but with Red Right Hand things got serious. Tupelo (#9) was majestic, & when he sat down at the keyboard and did my current fav People ain’t no good (#10) we were in some kind of a “Hellish Heaven”. The Mercy Seat (#12), one of the absolute best songs he’s written, could have been better.. but still lovely. Then came Stagger Lee (#13) – best performance yesterday – a real mother fucker version (yes… he shouted “MOTHER FUCKER” at least 20 times during this one). The last three songs were good, but could not touch Stagger Lee… (than again who/what could?) -Egil
Magic Mirrors – 21:15:
I saw a John Grant solo concert two years ago (well, he had one guy on stage with him on some songs) and it really changed my view on Mr. Grant. I was mesmerised. I thought I was prepared for this years show, but when the man starts to sing everything else disappears. He is one of the finest singer/songwriters today. It was fantastic once again.GMF (the Greatest Motherfucker) is maybe the single best musical moment of this years festival. Marz was another highlight.I hope I get to see him and his very good band in a non-festival setting soon.- Hallgeir
My first John Grant concert… and WHAOO! Had done my job and listened to his albums, but this was WAY better than I ever imagined (even though Hallgeir had “warned” me). The first two songs (Vietnam & Marz) was unbelievably good.. I was blown away.Then came 3 songs that, though still very good, contained too much synths/electronics for my taste. Sitting down @ the keyboard he gave a quiet and lovely Where Dreams Go To Die (#6) – what a song! It Doesn’t Matter To Him (#7) was also brilliant.The last songs were solid, but not in the same league as the mentioned top 4. A wonderful concert with exceptionally good sound. And listening to his albums today (after the concert) .. feels different in very positive way.-Egil
Plenen – 17:15:
Steve Earle & The Mastersons
Steve Earle is a hero for us at JV, in many ways he embodies all the musical styles that we write about. I have seen him before, but this was my first concert with him when he has a band with him. I had a big expectations and they were fullfilled, he told short stories and entertaining anectdotes between the tunes. It was a good concert.Highlights: Copperhead Road and The Low Highway- Hallgeir
A real hero indeed. This was my 5th Steve Earle concert (2 solo & 3 with band), and my expectations were sky high… a bad thing. First – 17:15, the largest stage, and poring rain.. bad, bad, bad. BUT as soon as Steve Earle’s somewhat reduced voice hit us.. things felt alright… and one of my fav Steve Earle songs is.. I Feel Alright (Steve Earle’s top 20 according to Egil). The band were very good & surely inspired Steve to push his performance (even though struggling with his voice). Best songs were a beautiful This City, a hard rocking & rock solid The Revolution Starts.. (last song), a good Hard-core Troubadour & The Galway Girl.
You’re Still Standing There also needs a nod. -Egil
Plenen – 20:00:
Band Of Horses
This was my fourth Band of Horses concert and as a band this is the best I’ve heard them since 2008, but even if they were good last night, it seemed like another day on the job. They’re a tight band and it’s too bad that it felt a bit uninspired. “Just another day on the job”. Not bad, but not great either.Highlights: Is there a ghost and The Great Salt lake- Hallgeir
Seen them twice before.. the band is tighter, but it has been a while since Bridwell has written a real good song. I’m still listening to the first 2 albums.. if I want some Band Of Horses. The “hard-core” rain didn’t hep either… solid stuff, but no cigar.
John Grant is releasing his second solo album, called Pale Green Ghosts, on March 13th 2013 via the Bella Union label.
I loved his last album,Queen Of Denmark and I saw him at a concert in Bergen, Norway a couple of years ago, he was mesmerizing, simply fantastic and it’s fair to say I have quite a bit of anticipation for Pale Green Ghosts.
And what’s it going to sound like? Well if the first song is representative, we will get a more electronic sounding album.
Pale Green Ghosts the first song from the new album by the same title:
I like it, and it keeps getting better and better.