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Friday, June 22, 2007

The Hultsfred Report: The Day After

Although Hultsfred ended with a bang and a washout, I wasn’t done concert going yet. For, the day after the festival, in the small coastal town of Oxelösund, was the line-up of my dreams: a double billing of Melody Club and The Ark. Really, could it get any better than that? For me, it couldn’t.

The gig was held at the town’s Hamnfestival (harbor festival), and it was really quite bizarre circumstances, actually. For one, Oxelösund is even smaller than my home town (small enough that it didn’t even have a McDonalds!), and The Ark and Melody Club are two of Sweden’s biggest bands. I, quite frankly, would fall over and die if bands like that came to my town.
Second, the two groups played after an endless succession of local bands, who ranged from alright to awful. The venue was tiny and located right on the coast and there really weren’t all that many people there. Of course, that just meant that I could get close enough to touch the bands without being pushed around by the crowd.

The Gig:

First on were Melody Club, one of my favorite bands that I’ve (amazingly) never seen live before. They floored me with their energy. For some reason I thought they’d be more reserved, but lead singer Kristofer and bassist Niklas (formally lead singer of my other favorite band, The Mo) were absolutely crazy, flying around the stage like maniacs, dancing, strutting, and striking poses. Their set was brilliant as well, with all the hits (except, oddly, Boys In The Girls Room) and plenty of album tracks from their last two albums. Killing A Boy, one of my favorite MC songs, was a standout, while Electric proved to be a natural singalong piece. The show ended with Kristofer bounding off the stage and climbing onto one of the speakers, every inch of his bizarre haircut completely sopping with sweat. I have rarely seen a band give this much to their audience. It was amazing.

Next, of course, were the Ark. They played the same show that they had at Hultsfred, with a few minor changes. All I Want Is You replaced New Pollution, Melody Club’s Electric was sang in the middle of One Of Us Is Gonna Die Young instead of PSB’s Being Boring, and the Calleth You, Cometh I finale was shortened (though Melody Club joined them onstage to help sing instead of Pikko). All in all, it was a victory lap after the insanity of the night before, and it was great to see their show again in a slightly different (and much smaller) setting. Plus, it was a highlight for me to see Niklas Stenemo watching the band from the sidelines and to see the two bands interact. It’s a shame that I have to go all the way to Sweden to immerse myself in shows like this, rock shows that truly enter and take over my heart, but it was worth every penny (or kronor) that I spent.


Blogger Paul said...

what a dream come true though! sounds absolutely amazing. interesting that pop bands in cars as a photo shoot is really taking off with dragonette and the hoosiers both doing it recently!

5:44 AM  

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