Granittrock is something as unusual as a free, non-alcoholic festival in Oslo, where some of Norway’s best and biggest bands play. The festival was arranged Friday and Saturday this weekend, and I was there on Friday.
This year’s festival was the 8th, and the organizers say that they have had 20-30.000 people at the venue every year the last years. When I was there on Friday, I would think about 2-4.000 came to see Bare Egil Band, Oslo Ess and Bigbang. During the headliner, Big Bang’s set, many people came, but the Saturday had to be packed to get close to their aim. Hopefully artists like El Caco, Marit Larsen and Bjørn Eidsvåg managed to draw the masses to the festival.
When that is said, those who were there obviously ad a great time, and the bands were well worth seeing. The venue is well organized, with stands for food, info stands for the local community services, and this year they also had a tivoli for the small kids when they got bored with the music. Because they have no sales of alcohol, the festival is extremely family friendly with an age span from 0 to 70.
But what about the bands? Bare Egil Band is a surrealistic one-man band with Egil Hegerber as the leader. When he plays with a band, like on Friday, they are called Ikke Bare Bare Egil Band Band (Not Only Only Egil Band Band).
Bare Erik’s lyrics are hilarious, lots of nonsense, but with a serious undertone. His most popular live song is Sko (Shoe), which is a whimsical ode to show. At every show the audience is waving with their shoes during the song.
Oslo Ess is one of the newer bands with the biggest success in Norway. They are a hard rock band with punk energy and some really good and catchy songs. They were nominated for a Norwegian Grammy for their debut CD this year.
Their show is a typical rock show, centered around singer Aasmund Lande, and with bassist Knut-Oscar Nymo as the most energic member. I have seen them live some times, and this Friday’s show was maybe the best so far.
Friday’s headliner was Bigbang, a band that have played for 20 years. The only member who have played in the band since the beginning, is Oystein Greni. He is ls the singer and the song-writer, and the band’s front man.
Bigbang have been one of Norway’s best rock bands for more than 10 years. Much because of their good songs, but also because of Greni’s charismatic singing and playing and their super tight sound. So far I have lost count of all the times I have seen Bigbang. They always do a good gig, and Friday night was one of them, even if I have seen them even more energetic before.