While the first day of Inferno 2018 was packed quite early in the evening, Friday started out with a smaller crowd. But that changed when the big headliner, Emperor came on stage. I can’t remember Rockefeller as packed as this before. Those of us who were there the whole time got many good bands before Emperor, too. (Photo above: Ihsahn from Emperor)
The traditional Black Easter in Oslo with the Inferno Metal Festival started yesterday, the 18th edition in a row. And this year more people than earlier, and from even more countries have gathered in Oslo for their yearly ritual. The festival has thirty six bands, nine each night, and several headliners from the top shelf of extreme metal. Here are the bands. I saw the first night. (Photo above: Odium)
Keith Urban is one of the most successful country artists ever, and he is also an artist who is constantly expanding the definition of country, mixing it with different styles thereby creating his own unique fusion style of country music. At Friday he talked at the conference and played a full 90 minutes concert at the Stubb’s outdoor venue during SXSW.
Thursday night I started out at the outdoor stage at the Auditorium Shores with Los Lobos. Then I went to thee Saxon Pub to see five bands I have never seen before. But being at the Saxon, I was pretty sure I would like them, and I was right! (Photo above: David Hidalgo and Conrad Lozano from Los Lobos)
Ray Benson‘s birthday party as a fundraiser for HAAM is an Austin tradition during SXSW. The passes are sought after, and there are always some big name surprise guests on stage with Ray and his house band, Asleep At The Wheel. Through the years I have seen many great artists at this event, Willie Nelson, The Avett Brothers, George Strait, Carolyn Wonderland and many others.
SXSW is still one of the world’s largest music festival and conference, even if the technology part has surpassed the music part in the number of attendees some years ago. At the music festival more than 2000 bands play and fight for the attention of the total of about 8-10000 music industry people, press and the fans. On top of all the official showcases, there are partiers with live music all over town, many of these more like small festivals in themselves.
For fifteen years, from 2000 to 2015 Kaizers Orchestra built themselves up to Norway’s most interesting and consistent live band. An important part of their success was singer and songwriter Janove Ottesen. After the band quit he started a solo career, and has already released two albums. These days he is on tour in Norway to support his newest release, Hengtmann. Last night he played at Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo.
From 1999 to 2005 Gåte combined Norwegian folk music with hard rock, and they had great success with their music, playing big festivals in the Nordic countries. The band disbanded in 2005, but have had a few one-off concerts since, until they decided to start up again last year. These days they are on a tour through Norwegian cities, and yesterday they played at the Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo. (Photo above: Sveinung and Gunnhild Sundli)
Norway has been blessed with some really good musicians and bands during the years. The jazz musicians Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, Arild Andersen lead on in the 70’s, and several others have come after. One of my favorite musicians and artists is Knut Reiersrud, who has kept on with his music since the 70’s, establishing himself as one of the most fascinating and interesting contemporary artists, both in Norway and also abroad.
If you like hard, guitar-driven rock with lots of drums, Spidergawd is the band for you. The band resides in Trondheim, Norway, and the set up is vocals, guitar, bass, drums and baritone sax, not the most usual instrument combination in rock. Their first album was released early 2014, and we are now waiting for their 5th release. Yesterday night Spidergawd played at the new club, Røverstaden, in Oslo.