On Thursday this year’s Steinkjer Festival starts again with a night of local artists, before Friday comes with twelve concerts, and Saturday with eighteen including the day program. This will be my fifth festival in Steinkjer, and I am sure it will be just as good as the other ones. Here are some of the artists who are performing this year. I will of course come back with some new pictures after the festival. (Above: Ida Jenshus)
The big name on Friday is Aage Aleksandersen & Sambandet. Aage Aleksandersen is a veteran in Norwegian rock, having been on top for almost 45 years since he started out with the band Prudence just before 1970. He has released numerous records, and have luckily no plans of stopping. Live with his band Sambandet, he delivers a great show with highlights from his extensive catalogue.
The other headliner on Friday is Oslo Ess. They have played almost every day the last year, and their show is energetic with good songs and lots of punk energy. The last time I saw them was at the Working Class Hero Festival the first weekend in June.
The first of the main acts Friday night is Team Me from Elverum. They came on the scene through urört, the website for new bands at nrk.no. Since their debut, they have developed into a great live band.
After Team Me, Honningbarna is playing. They, too, became known through urört and their signature is their front guy, Edvard Valberg on vocal and cello. They have the same punk energy in their live show as Oslo Ess.
Friday also has one of my favorite live artists, Hedvig Mollestad with her trio. She os a fantastic jazz guitarist, and her trio is up to the same standard. Their show is based on Hedvig’s guitar and her songs that use asymmetric meters and sometimes breakneck tempos with a super tight precision.
The closing act Friday is the metal band Blood Command from Bergen. I have seen them many times the last three years, and they have developed from a raw punk metal band to a stylish metal band with lots of punk energy, but with a better focus than when they started out. Their singer, Silje Tombre, is a charismatic front person for the band.
Saturday starts with a day program, but the first big act on stage at the night program, is Steinkjer’s own Ida Jenshus. She played the festival two years ago too, and in the 5 years I have seen her, she has gone from a talented singer songwriter to a full blown artist who goes her own ways and successfully so. Her band is terrific, and her songs are the best.
Morten Abel was the suoerstar for Norwegian pop music in the late 90′s and the beginning of the new century. The last years we haven’t heard much from him, but this summer he hs started touring again. He still makes a great show, and his old songs are also still very good. He will certainly be a highlight for many in the audience Saturday night.
Amund Maarud is another great artists, but his style is a mix of blues and hard rock. He started out as a blues prodigy in his teens, but had a period a few years ago when he played very hard guitar driven rock. The last couple of years he has mixed these styles into his own personal style, and very successfully, too. It is always fun to see Amund play, and the fans have a lot to look forward to when he goes on stage.
The act after Amund Maarud is the black jazz band Shining. They have also played at Steinkjer before, but I am glad they are coming back this year. It will be the third time I see them this year, and I know I will see them at least one more time before the summer is over. Their mix of black metal and jazz is unique for them, and they are great live.
After Shining, the Norwegian hip hop superstars, Karpe Diem enters the main stage. They have won several Norwegian Grammies (Spellemann), and played a sold out Oslo Spektrum earlier this year. Karpe Diem is in a class for themselves in Norwegian hip hop, and they will guaranteed be a hit.
Swedish metal band Entombed is the last band on the club stage at the festival, and I am personally looking forward to seeing them again.
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.