Sometimes a concert stands out as more than just a performance. Some artists have a stage presence that makes their concers something you remember a long time. Jarle Bernhoft is one of those artists, and last night’s performance at the Working Class Hero festival in Drammen was definitely a concert to remember.
Jarle Bernhoft has been a singer and a musician since the mid 90’s. First in the band Explicit Lyrics, then in Span, in Køhn/Johansen Sextet, and since 2005 as a solo artist. His solo performance are usually of two kinds. Either him and his guitar, plus some loop pedals, or with a band.
The first time I saw him play and sing with himself, all alone, I was amazed by the way he mastered the technology instead of what happens too often, the technology masters the musician. Obviously Ellen deGeneris reacted in the same way when she saw his YouTube video and had him as a guest on her show.
However good and interesting his playing alone may be, my absolute favourite setting is Jarle Bernhodt with his band. Last night was my third time seeing him with the band, and the setting gives him the freedom to show all his talents. The most obvious is his voice, maybe the fines one in Norway, and in my opinion up there with the best international soul singers. He also plays both guitar and flute.
The concert yesterday gave us songs like Streetlight, C’mon Talk, Choices, Stay With Me and also a stripped down version of Sunday. The outdoor venue was filled to capacity, and the crowd sang a long from the first song. His band consists of some of the best of the younger musicians in Norway, among them Hedvig Moldestad on guitar, David Wallumrød on keyboards, Torstein Lofthus on drums, Line Horntvedt on flute, synth and vocals, and Martin Winstad on percussion.