Archive for the ‘a-ha’ Category

Film premiere, a-ha convention and more concerts in Norway announced

Photo by Stian Andersen

The official site has announced the world premiere of the documentary film a-ha – The Movie, directed by Thomas Robsahm and Aslaug Holm, which will take place at Colosseum Cinema in Oslo on 26 November 2020. The main auditorium at Colosseum has a capacity of 978 people.

a-ha – The Movie has been in production since 2016, and the filmmakers have followed the band on the road during the Cast In Steel Tour, the MTV Unplugged Tour and the Electric Summer Tour. They have also filmed other events, such as the Savoy concert and signing in Oslo last year.

“We will tell the whole story, from when two 12-year old friends started their first band together in the seventies, on to a-ha’s massive hit Take On Me in 1985, all the way till now where they are still touring the world selling out arenas. It’s a film about strong personalities, creating something unique together, but also about how their internal struggles have made it hard to reach their full potential. And, I must add, it’s a film about one of the most underrated bands in pop history. I want more people to discover their music!”, Thomas Robsahm told nordiskfilmogtvfond.com earlier this year.

He also talked about what the audience can expect from the film in a recent interview with Variety. In addition to Norway, a-ha – The Movie will be distributed in Germany and has been purchased for TV broadcast in a number of European countries, including Sweden, Finland, Belgium and Switzerland.

The film premiere will be followed by two a-ha concerts in Oslo Spektrum on 27 and 28 November, which will mark the end of the Hunting High And Low Tour. There will also be an a-ha convention in Oslo on 28 November, with Robsahm and other guests.

Although the concert in Trondheim on 7 February was supposed to be the only show in Norway on this tour, two additional dates have also been announced today: Nordlandshallen in Bodø on 1 February and DNB Arena in Stavanger on 24 November.

Tickets for the Norwegian concerts and the film premiere will go on sale this week, along with more German dates for next year. Be sure to sign up for the official a-ha mailing list for pre-sale info.

According to a VG article today, the band will play more than 60 shows on the HHAL tour, which means there are still more than 20 shows to be announced. The article says that a-ha will also be returning to South America in 2020.

Additionally, a-ha manager Harald Wiik tells VG that the setup of the HHAL concerts has been changed. The full HHAL album will now be performed first, followed by various other songs after the break. Initially it was the other way around.

Update 15 Oct:
These are the added German dates for 2020:
31 October: Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany
02 November: Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany
03 November: Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg, Germany
05 November: Leipzig Arena, Leipzig, Germany
06 November: Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin, Germany

Three dates in Los Angeles added

Next year a-ha will return to the US for the first time since 2010, to play three shows at The Wiltern in Los Angeles.

The dates are 25, 26 and 27 September 2020, and will be part of the band’s Hunting High And Low Tour. The Wiltern has a seated capacity of only 1,850 people, so these will be very intimate events.

The Los Angeles shows will be the only US dates next year, but the band is hoping to return for more in 2021.

Tickets are available now from ticketmaster.com.

a-ha perform in Tallinn

Morten on stage in Tallinn
(Instagram screenshot)

a-ha were in Tallinn, Estonia this week, to perform at a private event held at the Pirita convent ruins on 29 August, according to Estonian media.

Drummer Karl Oluf Wennerberg posted a picture from the rehearsals, and there was also a picture of Magne, Karl Oluf and Even Ormestad visiting the Tallinn restaurant 180 Degrees.

According to the Estonian news site Elu24.ee, the event was the 50th birthday party of Rina Vosman, the wife of Russian oligarch Oleg Tinkov. Guests included Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov and his wife.

A video clip of a-ha performing “Take On Me” in Tallinn has been posted on Instagram here. Oleg Tinkov has also posted a picture of him and his family on stage with Morten.

Also performing at the event was UK singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor. The three-day celebration is reported to have cost around two million euros.

a-ha perform at Telenor Arena

a-ha live at Telenor Arena, performing for 3500 people on August 17th

a-ha performed at another corporate event in Oslo this past weekend, August 17th, as the cooperative building association OBOS celebrated its 90th anniversary with a big concert for its employees at Telenor Arena on Saturday night.

Other acts performing were Silya, Hkeem, Ina Wroldsen, Ole Paus, Ingrid Bjørnov, Timbuktu and Gyllene Tider.

a-ha’s setlist included The Sun Always Shines on TV, Stay On These Roads, Hunting High and Low, The Living Daylights and Take On Me.

Like their previous Oslo performance in June, they were joined on stage by Karl Oluf Wennerberg on drums, Even Ormestad on bass and Erik Ljunggren on synth.

Minor Earth | Major Sky and Lifelines remasters coming soon

The vinyl editions of the new Minor Earth | Major Sky and Lifelines remasters

The long-awaited remasters of Minor Earth | Major Sky (2000) and Lifelines (2002) will finally be released next month, 27 September.

Both albums will be available in 2CD Deluxe Editions, which will include previously unreleased songs such as “Sole Survivor”, “To Show It is to Blow It”, “Life’s Not Fair” (early version of “I Wish I Cared”) and “One in a Million” (early version of “White Canvas”), plus a-ha versions of “We’ll Never Speak Again” and “The Breakers”.

The 2CD Deluxe Edition of Minor Earth | Major Sky has a total of 33 tracks, while Lifelines has 37 tracks. The booklets include new liner notes by Kieron Tyler.

Both albums will also be available on vinyl for the first time, but only featuring the original album tracks.

Pre-order here:
Minor Earth | Major Sky (2CD Deluxe Edition): Amazon.de   Amazon.co.uk
Minor Earth | Major Sky (2LP Vinyl): Amazon.de   Amazon.co.uk

Lifelines (2CD Deluxe Edition): Amazon.de   Amazon.co.uk
Lifelines (2LP Vinyl): Amazon.de   Amazon.co.uk

Two sample tracks are already available for download/streaming now; “The Sun Never Shone That Day” (Early Version) and “Forever Not Yours” (Demo).

Read the full press release on a-ha.com.

a-ha to visit Australia and New Zealand

The latest tour announcement for next year’s HHAL tour is that a-ha will tour Australia for the first time in 34 years, plus New Zealand for the first time ever.

There will be eight dates in total, of which five of them will be part of the A Day on the Green outdoor summer festivals:

19 February: Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth, Australia (A Day on the Green)
22 February: Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley, Australia (A Day on the Green)
23 February: Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, Australia
26 February: ICC Sydney Theatre, Sydney, Australia
29 February: Bimbadgen, Hunter Valley, Australia
(A Day on the Green)
01 March: Sirromet Wines, Mount Cotton, Australia (A Day on the Green)
05 March: Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, New Zealand
07 March: Villa Maria Winery, Auckland, New Zealand
(A Day on the Green)

The support act will be the British singer Rick Astley.

“Australia was the country we played our first ever live concerts and was our first brush with worldwide fame. It was a thrilling adventure to be there on the opposite side of the world and it’s a thrill to return in 2020 – finally we will be back where it all started!”, Magne said in a press release.

To promote the tour announcement, Morten was interviewed on the Australian morning talk show Studio 10. A video clip of the interview can be seen on the Australian a-ha fansite on Facebook.

Japanese HHAL tour dates added

Five a-ha tour dates in Japan next year were announced today:

10 March 2020: Tokyo Dome City Hall, Tokyo
11 March 2020: Tokyo Dome City Hall, Tokyo
14 March 2020: Civic Hall, Fukuoka
16 March 2020: Festival Hall, Osaka
17 March 2020: NTK Hall, Nagoya

The band has previously toured Japan in 1986, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2009 and 2010.

This follows last week’s announcement that a-ha will also play in Dubai next year, their first ever show in the United Arab Emirates:

11 February 2020: Dubai Opera, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The total number of shows on the Hunting High and Low Tour has now reached 24, with plenty more dates to be added.

Ticket info for all shows on the official site.

South African tour dates announced

The first international tour dates of the 2020 tour have been announced today, and they will be in South Africa:

14 February 2020: Green Point A Track, Cape Town
15 February 2020: Marks Park, Johannesburg

This will be the first time a-ha visit the African continent since they played in Senegal in 2006, and their first visit to South Africa since the Memorial Beach tour in 1994, when they did a six-date tour of the country.

Tickets go on sale on Wednesday 26 June at 10am. For more info, visit the website of promoter BreakOut Events.

More tour dates for next year are expected to follow soon, including “areas the band hasn’t visited since their 1986 world tour”, which would mean North America or Australia – or both. According to one report, the HHAL tour will continue until December 2020.

Update: To promote the South African dates, Paul has been interviewed by Texx and the City and radio station KFM 94.5 (audio).

a-ha perform 6-song set in Oslo

a-ha on stage in Oslo, June 6th

a-ha performed a 6-song set in Oslo last night, as part of the closing party of the Nor-Shipping Ocean Leadership Conference 2019. They were joined on stage by Karl Oluf Wennerberg on drums, Even Ormestad on bass and Erik Ljunggren on synth. Serving as a preview of the upcoming Hunting High And Low Tour, all the songs were taken from the first album.

Setlist (with video links):
1. The Sun Always Shines on TV
2. Living a Boy’s Adventure Tale
3. The Blue Sky
4. Hunting High and Low
5. Train of Thought
6. Take on Me

This marked the first time “The Blue Sky” had been performed live since 2010, and only the fourth time since the 1980s. “Train of Thought” was the album version, instead of the demo version they did on the Electric Summer tour last year.

Other performers at the outdoor concert included the boys choir Sølvguttene, Sissel Kyrkjebø and Andrea Bocelli. The event was only open for invited guests with a 4-day Conference Pass which cost 4000 kroner ($460). Although the weather forecast had predicted heavy rain in the evening, the rain storm passed over Oslo earlier in the afternoon and there were only a few drops during the concert.

Update: The Nor-Shipping website has a few seconds of official footage from the a-ha performance here (at 2:35) and here (at 1:08).

New page: The early days 1977 – 1983

Magne, Morten and Paul in the 1970s

In recent years I have been looking through old archives, working on compiling a list of Paul, Magne and Morten’s early concerts/performances in the years between 1977 and 1983. From Spider Empire to Bridges and from Laelia Anceps to Souldier Blue.

The list, which currently includes 54 performances can now be seen on this page:
Early bands and concerts 1977-1983

If you have any corrections or additional dates, contact me here.

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