Bergen Fest has been a long time tradition for me, all the way back to the 90’s when it was called Ole Blues and was a club festival with mostly blues artists. Now it is an outdoor festival in historic surroundings in Bergen, and with one of Norway’s best bookings, big headliners and many lesser known but definitely very interesting artists. Yesterday I saw Nick Cave and Sparks, but also The last Internationale, which became one of the highlights for me. (Photo above: Nick Cave)
Jørun Bøgeberg is one of the most used Norwegian musicians, having played professionally since the early 70’s in all different genres. He has toured and played almost everywhere in Norway, and also played for 150.000 people in Rio de Janeiro. Last night he celebrated his 60 year birthday at a packed Victoria Jazzscene in Oslo with some of his musical friends from the last 40 years.
Sunday was the last day of the Inferno Metal Festival this year, and it was a day for old school black and death metal, grindcore and doom. Norwegian, British and Swedish bands. As the preceding days, the venue was packed, and all in all the Inferno has never sold as many tickets before. And to a very international crowd from many different countries. (Photo above: Nattefrost from Carpathian Forest)
The third day of Inferno 2018 had Satyricon as the headliner. The band has been on an extensive and successful tour in Europe the last half year, and Saturday night was the closing concert on the second leg of this tour. Before Satyricon Ihsahn played a concert with his solo work. Another good day for extreme metal! (Photo above: Satyr from Satyricon)
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.