Norway have many great artists, and every once and again a new one arrives who has that special thing that makes her or him stand out from the crowd. John Olav Nilsen is one of those, and he was immediately recognized, even before he released his debut CD in 2009. Since then he has played many concerts with his band, Gjengen, and their third CD, Den eneste veien ut (The Only Way Out) is out now.
This blog is mostly about live concerts, and my fascination of John Olav Nilsen comes from his concerts. I have seen him live three times, and I am looking forward to his upcoming tour in Norway to promote the new CD. Here is the tour list.As an artist John Olav Nilsen reminds me a bit about Haakan Hellstroem, the Swedist rock poet of Gotenburg. But contrary to Hellstroem, Joh Olav Nilsen has a dark side that is quite obvious in his somgs, and also when he is on stage. He more than hints to an experience with substances and alcohol in his lyrics. For a 30 year old, he has certainly lived a lot.Live, John Olav Nilsen & Gjengen is a great act. The band is vital and competent, and Jphn Olav is a perfect front man He has that mystic presence that makes for great artists. At the same time his act seems natural and not forced, like too many other acts are.Here are some pictures from former concerts, all of them from different festivals in 2010: Bergen Fest, Bukta and Oya.