Saturday at the Slottsfjell Festival had the same warm and beautiful weather as the first two days. The whole area was packed with happy people, and the mood was just as good as the other days. An outdoor festival without rain or cloudy weather is a rarity in Norway. I can’t remember more than a handful of the couple of hundred festivals I have attended since I was young, where the weather has been this good for the whole festival. (Picture above: Magdi from Karpe Diem)
Greg Graffin from Bad Religion
But what about the music Saturday? As the other days, Saturday was a mix of many styles, with artists as different as Susanne Sundfoer, Karpe Diem, Seasick Steve, Converge, Mhoo, Bad Religion and the Wombats. Together with the bands and artists from the other two days, this has ben a varied menu of many styles, with some obvious choices and many not so obvious.
On the way to see the Norwegian band Bendik on the big stage, I dropped in to the end of Little Green Cars’ concert, and that was an unexpected bonus. They are from Ireland and have been playing together for seven years. and released their debut CD this year after two Eps earlier. The band play songs which combine a definite indie sound with some great harmonies. Their song Harper Lee from the EP by the same name is a great example of Little Green Car’s sound. This is a band I will like to see more of.
Benedict is a band centered around Silje Halsteinsen, She sings and plays guitar and synth. The band has a sound made up of long, epic melody lines and an accompaniment that changes between hard and soft with intricate instrumental parts. On stage Silje is the boss, and they had no problems filling the big stage. The band Bendik is one of many that has come up through Urort, NRK P3’s site for unsigned bands. One of the stages at the festival was named the Urort Stage, giving unsigned bands the opportunity to play for a bigger audience.
After Bendik, it was up the stairs again to see the masters of metalcore, Converge. Hey have played festyivals in Norway before, but this was my first time with the band. They deliver a hard, frenetic package on stage, with singer Jacob Bannon running and jumping around on stage like a dervish. Metal bands are high on my favourite list for live performances, and Converge is now on that list.
Next out on the big stage was Seasick Steve, the American artist who moved to Norway 12 years ago and who got recognition and success at the age of 65 years old. I saw Seasick Steve the first time in 2003, and since then he has gained well deserved success with spots on many of the big festivals and also high CD sales. You can read more about him and see more pictures of him here.
The Wombats from Liverpool is the ultimate indie band. They are a trio with two Englishmen and one Norwegian. They were also a new acquaintance to me, and a nice one. Energetic show and good songs. The Wombats were also popular with the audience, and got a great reception.
Greg Graffin from Bad Religion
Bad Religion was one of the headliners at the Slottsfjell Festival, and they played the high stage, so it was back at the stairs again. The band started out in 1979, so they have been playing together for 34 years now. The members of Bad Religion have changed during these years, but the Slottsfjell version had three of the original members, The band plays energetic punk rock with meaningful lyrics. To me the band doesn’t sound very punky, rather mainstream hard rock, but they very important in the punk culture in the early 80’s.
My last band at the festival was Karpe Diem. I saw them last at the Steinkjer Festival three weeks ago, and the band is a perfect headliner for a festival like Slottsfjell. They are also playing another festival I will visit in August, the Pstereo Festival, so I will get a chance to seem three times this year.
After Karpe Diem, Susanne Sundfoer played a midninght concert at the high stage, but I didn’t go there, enough for me this time. But you can read the review (in Norwegian) at NRK P3’s site here.
Slottsfjell was new and great experience for me. The festival is well organized, they attract a young audience, which is a good thing, and the audience also seem interested in the music. They have great food – I had sushi that was prepared at the place, I had a BBQ pulled pork burger at Grillsjefen, which was delicious, and also a chicken platter from the local chicken farm, Stange. The one thing that wasn’t working to well was the capacity at the beer bars.
The stairs up to the Kastellet stage
Except for this, and with the best weather you can think of, Slottsfjell is well worth the trip. On top of this I got some much needed exercise. I measured my movements the last day, and the conclusion is that I all togetjer walked for 6 hours, I walked 15 miles, and 2000 steps up and down in the stairs.
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.
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