While Thursday at Stavernfestivalen was cloudy and a bit windy, Friday was sunny and warm, the perfect weather for an outdoor festival. All systems also worked from the start on the second day of the festival, the weather was great, and the crowd was happy and enjoyed the artists. (Photo above: Veronica Maggio))
In the same tradition as the first day, Friday started with a well known and grown up artist. Odd Nordstoga became a houshold name in 2004 with his album, Luring. The album went no. 1 on the charts, and of the 8 solo albums he has released, 5 have been no. 1 and three no. 2. His collaboration with Sisse Kyrkjebø on a Christmas album in 2009 has become the best selling album in Norway after 2000. Odd Nordstoga mixes pop and Norwegian folk music, and he has also done straight folk music on earlier album releases. He started out in a band called Something Odd and released a couple of high quality albums with the band in the late 90’s. At Stavern he had his regular band and played some of his many hits from the last 12 years.
Tellef Raabe is a young Norwegian indie artist who went to Wales when he was 17 years old. He has released several singles and EPs, and is already an experienced artist at the age of 26. His debut album, Idiographic, was released in January this year. Tellef Raabe’s music is self-described as goth pop, catchy, but also dark indie pop. The concert at Stavernfestivaen was good, with a band where his sister, Sigrid were singing with Tellef.
My next concert was Friday’s first positive surprise. I had never heard of Charlie Wilson before, but he presented a fireworks of a concert. He had 8 musicians and 4 dancers on the stage, dancing and moving the whole concert. The music reminds me of 70’s soul, funk, philly soul and early disco, like Earth, Wind & Fire, Harold Melvin & The BlueNotes, and a touch of James Brown. Potent, high energy, and an utterly professional band made this one of my best concerts at the festival. Check out his latest album, Forever Charlie.
Aage Aleksandersen has the same status in Norway that Bruce Springsteen has in the USA. He has travelled all over Norway several times the last almost 50 years. He has written several songs that has become classics, and his concerts are often long and with high energy. So also at Stavernfestivalen, where the band counted 10 people, with guitarist Skjalg Raaen jumping arund on stage, and Aage Aleksandersen doing what he does best. If you haven’t seen him, live, you have missed something. So far he has sold one and a half million albums.
One of the more fun bands at the festival was Death By Unga Bunga. They are a retro indie band that uses 60’s esthetics combined with punky music. The band has existed since 2007 and they have had success, both with their albums and live. Their singer, Sebastian Ulstad Olsen is the focal point at their concerts with his antics, and they always make a great show, so also at Stavern.
Sweden has delivered a string of accomplished female artists during the years. This year’s flavor is Zara Larsson. After visiting Stavernfestivalen, she flew to Paris to close the European soccer championship together with David Guetta with the official song for the champion ship, This One’s For You. She was discovered eight years ago at the age of 10 when she won the Swedish Got Talent. At the concert at Stavernfestivalen she had four dancers with her and performed her songs in a show that to me seemed more like a gymnastics show than a concert. But she was very popular with the younger kids.
The headliner Friday was Veronica Maggio. She is also one of the any talented female artists from Sweden, and I really like her songs and her style. She sings in Swedish, and has some really good songs, like Måndagsbarn (Monday Child) and Satan i gatan (Satan in the Street). Veronica Maggio combines modern pop with meaningsful lyrics in a way that makes it a good listen. She is very good live, too, which she proved for the around 10.000 fans Friday night.
All in all Friday was a good day at the festival, with a good mix of bands in many different styles. I missed a few bands, since they played almost at the same time as others, among them the Norwegian hip hop artist Arif and dj Alan Walker.
All photos are © Per Ole Hagen, and must not be used without written permission.