Friday at The Notodden Blues Festival is always more busy than Thursday. The music starts before breakfast is over, and sound checks started even earlier. The traditional blues cruises at the lake started Friday, and the semifinals for the Union Blues Cup was held at the Book and Blues House that was new last year. Friday’s headliner (photo above) was Robert Plant, and everyone were looking forward to it.
Yesterday this year’s Notodden Blues Festival opened. The opening show was well attended, with 3-4000 people, and the evening had three acts – Vidar Busk, Dana Fuchs and Mike Zito and Samantha Fish. This was my 21st year at the festival, and this is one of the festivals I look forward to every year. (Photo above: Vidar Busk) Continue reading
Thursday, July 30th, The Notodden Blues Festival will open with artists like Robert Plant, George Thorogood, Shemekia Copeland, Beth Hart and many others. The festival has been my favorite blues festival for more than 20 years. Here are photos of some of the artists at this year’s festival while we are waiting for it to start. (Picture above: The audience to ZZ Top at Notodden in 2012)
While the first day of Oslo Fjordfest had Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell as headliner, and mostly folk/Americana artists on the schedule, the musical theme for the second day was soul, electronica, hip hop and reggae. The day, with d’Angelo as the headliner, attracted a totally different audience than the first day. A smart move from the festival organizers. (Picture above: d’Angelo)
Oslo is a city with an active concert scene all year, but so far with very little activity in July. June and August see many festivals, and this year, Oslo Fjordfest is a new festival, placed in July. As a debutante, the festival have a realistic ambition, having 2015 as a test year. After attending both days, I am already looking forward to next year’s festival. (Picture above: Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell)
The second day of Steinkjerfestivalen was sunny and with more people than ever. It started early and the last band finished 10 hours later. This year will probably be the most commercially successful for the festival of all the ten years, and I am very happy for them. Musically, Saturday was like Friday, a mix of different styles for people in all ages. A local festival can’t be programmed like a national festival, and both have their charm. Yesterday we were served dance music, male choirs, hard rock, 80’s heavy rock, Creedence covers, rap mixed with punk, electronica and musical humor Who can complain about that? (Photo above: Gabrielle)
I have been attending Steinkjerfestivalen (The Steinkjer Festival) for some years, and seen it grow from an ambitious local festival to a big event. Last night was almost sold out, with more than 5.500 people attending, and tonight is all sold out, so total attendance for two days will be around 12.000. For a local festival in a town of slightly over 20.000 inhabitants, located 80 miles north of Trondheim, these are impressive numbers. The program is also impressive, with a mix of different styles, but it works like a charm. (Photo above: The Dogs)
Saturday was the last day of Tons of Rock, and the fans got a full package, like the other days. More heavy and prog.rock than the day before, but with trash metal from Kreator, a grand show by In Flames with fantastic pyro. Seigmen is on par with DumDum Boys for the title “Best Norwegian Live Band”, and Artch did a convincing concert with their original setup. Sólstafir showed us that they can do more than mystic and mythical soundscapes in Iceland, and Triosphere opened the show with the only female musician on the main stages at the whole festival. (Photo above: Addi Tryggvason from Sólstafir)
The second day of Tons of Rock 2015 had a more diverse mix of bands than Thursday. Mayhem are pioneers of Norwegian black metal, while Venom are credited for giving the black metal name to the genre. Twisted Sister’s aggressive music coupled with singer Dee Snider’s look, and the Norwegian rock band DumDum Boys who is still one of our best live act. And then, Gojira, with their deadly precise and sometimes rhythmically complicated metal, it was a day for most tastes. (Picture above: Twisted Sister) Continue reading
Tons of Rock is going on for three days, and the first day is over. Except for the pouring rain, it was a grand opening, with Opeth as the headliner on the biggest stage and Testament on the second. With Alcest earlier and Bombers as the closing act in the big tent, it was a perfect way to start the festival.