Grace Jones was the headliner at the last day of the Øyafestivalen this year. I saw her last year at Bergen Fest, and much of the show was the same. But she had taken it to another level this time, and showed everyone who is the real star among all the wannabe pop divas. She also looks so good and is in such good shape that you forget that she is sixty eight years old.
What I really like about the two concerts I have seen with Grace Jones, is that she gives us exactly what we want – the best songs from her active recording career in the 80’s, and with special focus on her Compass Point trilogy, Warm Leatherette, Nightclubbing and Living My Life. Her stage personae is also just as outrageous as expected, and her band is top notch.
She changes costumes almost between every song and is not afraid of showing her body, which many 40 year olds could be jealous of. At Øya he also had a male pole dancer whom she interacted with on stage, and she also took a walkabout in the pit, sitting on the shoulders of one of her staff.
I don’t have the exact setlist for er concert, but it seemed to me to be the same show that she has played this summer, so here is the setlist from one of these concerts. My all time favorite of her songs is Libertango – an interpretation of a melody by the famous tango composer Astor Piazolla, plus the title track of her 1987 album Slave To The Rhythm, that has been interpreted as either a song about the history of slavery among the afro-american people, or a critique of the Music industry.
Grace Jones was almost her own music style in the early 80’s, helped by the Compass Point All Stars, with Robbie Shakespeare and Sly Dunbar in front. Her next album after the Compass Point trilogy, Slave To The Rhythm from 1987, was produced by Trevor Horn, and is typical of his sample sound, epitomized by his productions of Frankie Goes To Hollywood and the Yes album 90125. Grace Jones ended the concert at Øya with Slave To The Rhythm, and like in Bergen, she did it, twirling a hula hoop while singing.
All photos are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.