Here is a gallery of some of the photos I took at the concerts in Oslo Spektrum. Click on each photo to enlarge:
Archive for the ‘Ending on a High Note Tour’ Category
now a-ha will be a memory of a life we once shared.”
– read the whole message from Magne on a-ha.com
Fans from all over the world gathered in Oslo this past week to celebrate a-ha’s music, as the band played their last four concerts at the Oslo Spektrum arena.
Although it was a sad moment when the guys walked off the stage on December 4th, the overall atmosphere during these concerts was a joyful appreciation of a long and unique career.
For those of you who couldn’t be there, the last two nights were filmed and will be edited into a live DVD to be released sometime next year.
As a special surprise on the last night, and as a tribute to their first manager Terry Slater (1983 – 1994), they played an acoustic version of the Everly Brothers song “Bowling Green”. Slater, who was in the audience, was a musician for the Everly Brothers back in the 60s and wrote that song in 1967.
It’s up on YouTube here (thanks Chris).
Here is the full setlist from the last concert:
1. The Sun Always Shines On TV
2. Move To Memphis
3. The Blood That Moves The Body
4. Scoundrel Days
5. The Swing Of Things
6. Forever Not Yours
7. Stay On These Roads
8. Manhattan Skyline
9. Hunting High And Low
10. The Bandstand
11. We’re Looking for the Whales
12. Butterfly, Butterfly
13. Crying In The Rain
14. Minor Earth Major Sky
15. Summer Moved On
16. I’ve Been Losing You
17. Foot Of The Mountain
18. Cry Wolf
20. The Living Daylights
21. Bowling Green
22. Take On Me
we’ll all be making music – the three of us – for years to come.
Hopefully we’ll see you guys, some other place.”
– Paul, on stage December 4th
Thank you, a-ha.
It’s been fun.
And so a new chapter begins…
Watch “The Living Daylights” from a-ha’s last concert in the UK at Wembley Arena on 27 November (filmed by Chris):
a-ha made their last ever UK TV appearance on Monday, when they appeared on The Alan Titchmarsh Show on ITV1. Following a short interview, they did a live performance of “The Sun Always Shines On TV”. Thanks to Chris for uploading the clip above to YouTube.
The UK part of the tour started in Brighton last Monday, November 15th. The setlist was the same as before, but in later concerts “(Seemingly) Nonstop July” has been replaced by “The Swing Of Things” and the order of the songs has been changed around somewhat.
For some good video clips from Brighton, check out this playlist on YouTube by Chris.
Recent UK interviews:
22 Nov: Manchester Confidential (Paul)
21 Nov: Bournemouth Echo (Paul/Magne – also includes audio interviews)
18 Nov: Wales Online (Magne)
14 Nov: Express.co.uk (All 3)
12 Nov: The Star (Morten)
12 Nov: Chronicle Live (Morten)
5 Nov: This is Nottingham (Morten)
MTV in the UK aired a special called “a-ha’s Greatest 80’s Videos” on October 31st, where the band introduced 40 music videos from the 1980s. Most of the video introductions have been compiled by Chris into a 7-minute clip on YouTube, which can be seen here.
The last four concerts in Oslo next week are fast approaching. There is no support band in Oslo, and the stage time will be 8:30pm – so don’t be late!
a-ha.com also announced last week that the final concert on December 4th will be filmed for a DVD release. Hopefully it will be available on Blu-ray as well.
Some fans are planning a “fan action” moment during the last concert, where the audience should hold up “thank you”-signs. More info is available on Facebook.
For those of you going to Oslo, the a-ha exhibition at the National Library is open from 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 6pm on Saturday, December 4th.
There is also an exhibition at Galleri MAP, showing a-ha photos taken by Janne Møller-Hansen between 1985 and 1987, which is open from 1pm to 8pm on November 30th and December 2nd, 3rd and 4th. On December 1st, it’s open from 1pm to 5pm.
a-ha played at the Palace of Sports in Minsk, Belarus yesterday. Since the last news update the band has also performed in Braunschweig, Mannheim, Hamburg, Berlin, Riga, Vilnius and Kiev.
They are playing it safe, with the setlist continuing to be the same at all the gigs. But the press reviews have been good all along.
Sadly, Morten’s mother Henny passed away on Tuesday, November 2nd. She was 80 years old. The funeral will be held on November 12th, the day after the concert in St. Petersburg.
The Shropshire Star had an interview with Magne on Thursday, November 4th. Read it here.
A radio interview that the guys did on Absolute Radio in the UK last month is now also available for viewing on the station’s website.
The 25-minute interview can be seen here.
Morten made a surprise appearance in a comedy sketch on BBC1’s The Armstrong and Miller Show last Saturday, October 30th.
The musical number, which sees Morten appear as a seller at a farmer’s market, is available on YouTube here (after 2:30).
And I’ve been contacted by a fan named José, who wants to share the YouTube clips he filmed at the Royal Albert Hall concert on October 8th – from behind the band.
He has posted all the songs on his YouTube channel here.
The band played for 5000 people at the Stadthalle in Rostock yesterday, after having said farewell to audiences in Brussels, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Basel, Munich, Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Lepzig during the last couple of weeks.
The setlist seems to have remained the same at every gig so far.
For extensive fan coverage of each concert, with links to picture galleries, video clips and more – visit the tour forum on WOTM.
Yet another date has been added for the final week in Oslo. This very last (?) addition to the tour schedule takes place on 30 November and tickets go on sale on Tuesday, 26 October.
Jimmy Gnecco has announced in a blog entry on his official website that he’ll be supporting a-ha at all the 10 UK dates in November as well.
BBC Radio 2 broadcast parts of the Royal Albert Hall concert on Thursday night; the whole HHAL album + 3 songs from SD. The broadcast is available for a few more days on the BBC website. Or you can find details on how to download a high-quality recording made by Chris on WOTM.
The German website BoostTV.de has a 12-minute video interview with Morten that was recorded back in July. It can be seen here.
And it turns out the radio interview that Jian Ghomeshi did with the band for Studio Q on CBC in Canada on 14 May was also filmed. The whole 43-minute interview can be watched in HD on Q TV’s YouTube channel.
The final leg of the farewell tour started at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam on Sunday night, featuring some changes compared to previous indoor concerts earlier this year.
The stage was basically a scaled-down version of the Norwegian stadium concerts, using parts of the butterfly-screen as backdrop.
The setlist also seems to have been identical to the stadium concerts – 21 songs starting with “The Sun Always Shines On TV” and ending with “Take On Me”.
Some pictures from Amsterdam has been posted by Sandra here.
Meanwhile, in the UK, the 25 collection has entered the album chart at number 10, selling 10,835 units in its first week. It’s the fifth a-ha album to reach the UK top ten. Well done!
a-ha played at the Royal Albert Hall in London for the 6th and final time yesterday.
Like in Oslo earlier in the week, they were joined by members of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and played both Hunting High and Low and Scoundrel Days in their entirety.
For some high quality videos from the concert, check out the ones that Chris is uploading to YouTube here.
On Wednesday, following a signing session for the 25 compilation at the HMV store in Oxford Street, the band did an intimate gig at the Heaven nighclub for 300 lucky competition winners.
The setlist (with links to YouTube videos by Chris):
Earlier in the day, they did a few TV-appearances on ITV. A short interview on Daybreak (YouTube), then an interview on Lorraine Kelly’s show (YouTube) and a live performance of “The Sun Always Shines On TV” (YouTube).
a-ha surprised the audience at Oslo Konserthus last night, by not only playing the Hunting High and Low-album, but also the entire Scoundrel Days-album – 20 songs in all.
Another surprise was that Paul and Magne had decided to change sides on stage for the first time since 1994.
Clips up on YouTube so far:
Take On Me
Train Of Thought
Hunting High And Low
And You Tell Me
Living A Boy’s Adventure Tale
Here I Stand And Face The Rain
The Weight Of The Wind
Soft Rains Of April
The audience of 1300 people included Queen Sonja, Princess Märtha Louise and her husband Ari Behn.
Dagbladet’s reviewer Sven Ove Bakke gives the concert 4 out of 6, and is not entirely satisfied with a-ha’s collaboration with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra:
(…) Adding string arrangements to cool and quite minimalistic synthpop is a challenge.
The strings should preferably seek out the darkest and coldest corners, and bring out the underlying unease and dark melancholy that run through the early a-ha material.
But Kjetil Bjerkestrand’s bombastic, light romantic string arrangements did little else than rub the a-ha material with the hairs.
On its best, it gave the durable a-ha classics a sort of extra pomposity, predictably mood-enhancing, but not too annoying.
Luckily “Here I Stand And Face The Rain” and “Soft Rains Of April” – both strong endings on their respective albums – benefited from effectively sweeping and ending credits-like dramaturgy.
In the worst cases – where “And You Tell Me” stood out as a horrible low point – you got an overly sweet Disney-Christmas feeling.
Mostly, they were positioned somewhere in between – arrangements so dead that Princess Märtha Louise in the seventh row was probably the only one who got something of value out of them. (…)
On Friday, the audience in London will get a chance to hear the same concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
It was a rather wet evening on Saturday, when a-ha played their last-ever outdoor concert in front of 15.000 people at Sør Arena in Kristiansand. So instead of the usual Tchaikovsky intro we got Gene Kelly’s “Singin’ in the Rain”.
The roof over the middle part of the stage didn’t seem to be of much help, when the rain came in sideways. From behind a large protective plastic case, Magne commented that his keyboard had turned into an aquarium, while during the acoustic set Morten said that he was almost sliding off his chair, as it was so wet.
But despite the weather and some technical problems, the show went ahead as planned. “We’ll try to do our part to make this night as memorable as possible for you“, Magne said before “Stay On These Roads”. The setlist was the same as in Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim – 21 songs starting with TSASOTV and ending with TOM.
“Our very first concert in Norway took place in Kristiansand, back in 87. Thank you so much for inviting us back“, Magne told the audience at the end.
The concert gets 5 out of 6 from the local newspaper Fædrelandsvennen.
For Karl Oluf it was a special night, as he is originally from Vennesla, not too far from Kristiansand.
“The audience sang along loudly and created a good atmosphere, even if the rain was pouring down. That was great. Magne was super-happy afterwards and Morten thought it was a special show, since Kristiansand is partly home territory for him as well“, he said in an interview afterwards.
Here is the first of my YouTube clips from Kristiansand:
Crying In The Rain
The next concert is the Hunting High And Low-performance at Oslo Konserthus on 4 October. There was a ticket presale today; more info on a-ha.com.
And Happy Birthday to Morten, who is 51 today!