The second day of Steinkjerfestivalen was sunny and with more people than ever. It started early and the last band finished 10 hours later. This year will probably be the most commercially successful for the festival of all the ten years, and I am very happy for them. Musically, Saturday was like Friday, a mix of different styles for people in all ages. A local festival can’t be programmed like a national festival, and both have their charm. Yesterday we were served dance music, male choirs, hard rock, 80’s heavy rock, Creedence covers, rap mixed with punk, electronica and musical humor Who can complain about that? (Photo above: Gabrielle)
I have been attending Steinkjerfestivalen (The Steinkjer Festival) for some years, and seen it grow from an ambitious local festival to a big event. Last night was almost sold out, with more than 5.500 people attending, and tonight is all sold out, so total attendance for two days will be around 12.000. For a local festival in a town of slightly over 20.000 inhabitants, located 80 miles north of Trondheim, these are impressive numbers. The program is also impressive, with a mix of different styles, but it works like a charm. (Photo above: The Dogs)
Saturday was the last day of Tons of Rock, and the fans got a full package, like the other days. More heavy and prog.rock than the day before, but with trash metal from Kreator, a grand show by In Flames with fantastic pyro. Seigmen is on par with DumDum Boys for the title “Best Norwegian Live Band”, and Artch did a convincing concert with their original setup. Sólstafir showed us that they can do more than mystic and mythical soundscapes in Iceland, and Triosphere opened the show with the only female musician on the main stages at the whole festival. (Photo above: Addi Tryggvason from Sólstafir)
The second day of Tons of Rock 2015 had a more diverse mix of bands than Thursday. Mayhem are pioneers of Norwegian black metal, while Venom are credited for giving the black metal name to the genre. Twisted Sister’s aggressive music coupled with singer Dee Snider’s look, and the Norwegian rock band DumDum Boys who is still one of our best live act. And then, Gojira, with their deadly precise and sometimes rhythmically complicated metal, it was a day for most tastes. (Picture above: Twisted Sister) Continue reading
Tons of Rock is going on for three days, and the first day is over. Except for the pouring rain, it was a grand opening, with Opeth as the headliner on the biggest stage and Testament on the second. With Alcest earlier and Bombers as the closing act in the big tent, it was a perfect way to start the festival.
Bergen Fest 2015 is over, and now we are looking forward to next year. But first, a report from the last night, Sunday. I saw Death Cab for Cutie – American indie pop, The Struts from England – the closest you get to a glam band nowadays. Then I saw Susanne Sundfør, who is getting her live act to a higher level, Razika, super charming indie rock from Bergen, and Röyksopp, electronica royalty from Tromsø, Norway. (Photo above: The Struts) Continue reading
Saturday at Bergen Fest 2015 followed up the eclectic mix from the day before. The headliner was Kygo, Bergen’s own DJ star, then Indie favorites Alt-J, uncompromising Tori Amos with her grand piano. Aurora is another coming star from Bergen, and Seinabo Sey is one of the best things coming from Sweden those days. Put in British folk rock with the Levellers, speed jazz from Jaga Jazzist and some more indie-folk from Kyla La Grange, and you have a mix worthy of one of Norway’s best festivals. (Photo above: Tori Amos)
Friday at Bergen Fest presented artists from totally different genres. Jackson Browne and Calexico have some common songwriting traits, while St. Paul & The Broken Bones were quite different – white soul from Birmingham, Alabama. Then we got John Grant singing about lost love and misery. Bastille follows up in the wake of Imagine Dragons. and Ben Howard closed the night with his folk inspired music to the delight of all the girls at the front. For a festival with all ages and varied tastes, it was probably just the right programming. (Photo above: Jackson Browne.)
The first day at this year’s Bergen Fest had Patti Smith as the headliner. Before her, the Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit played. The opening act was supposed to be Sam Smith, but when he canceled, Grace Jones came in, making the main stage on the opening day all female. Many festivals have been criticized for having to few female artists, and their argument is often that there aren’t enough good female artists. They shouldn’t worry – Bergen Fest showed us yesterday that this is no problem. (Picture above: Patti Smith) Continue reading
Marilyn Manson has been a controversial artist since he entered the foggy limelight in 1993. His name is a combination of two of the best known American cult figures, Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson. Manson was born Brian Hugh Warner, and his music has been accused of being an influence for the Columbine massacre, and also from turning young people away from God.