a-ha played an intimate concert for contest winners at the BBC Radio Theatre in London last night, which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2. It could also be watched live on TV in the UK through the BBC Red Button interactive service and online on the BBC Radio 2 website. The whole concert is available for listening here.
The band did a good performance, with Anneli Drecker joining them on backing vocals and in a duet with Morten on “Crying In The Rain”. Apart from a guest-appearance in Tromsø in 2010, this was Anneli’s first time on stage with a-ha since December 2002.
As for the setlist, “Cast In Steel” was played for the first time since October last year, this time more like the new Steve Osborne-version of the song. Last night’s performance of the song has been posted on YouTube.
Here’s the setlist:
1. I’ve Been Losing You
2. Cry Wolf
3. Cast In Steel
4. Stay On These Roads
5. Living At The End Of The World
6. The Swing Of Things
7. Crying In The Rain
8. Mother Nature Goes To Heaven
9. We’re Looking For The Whales
10. Sycamore Leaves
11. Hunting High And Low
12. Scoundrel Days
13. The Sun Always Shines On TV
14. Take On Me
“It was great. It was a really intense feeling in the audience. It’s rare that we get an opportunity to see people that are almost at the same height as we are, so you’re kind of staring them right in the face”, Magne said in an interview with Jo Whiley after the concert (starts at 1h 16min).
Morten, on the other hand, said he was disappointed with his own performance:
“This was a tough one. It was one of those gigs that sometimes happen. I had a really hard time hearing myself. It’s emotionally hard, because I can’t really give what I’m capable of. And that’s how I felt tonight.”
“It’s a difficult room to play in, for me certainly. It was a great crowd and all you want is to be part of it. And when you don’t feel that fully, then it is what it is.”
Jo Whiley went on to ask Magne if Morten’s self-critical analysis drives him mad:
“The honest truth, if you ask me; yes it does. But I’ve lived long enough with Morten that I’ve learnt to live with that frustration. He’s kind of looking for the ideal circumstance and it never is ideal. We do our best out there and hopefully it’s good enough. To me it sounded great.”
Earlier in the day, a-ha also played two songs live on the Ken Bruce Show; “Under The Makeup” and “Foot Of The Mountain” which can be heard here. They were also guests on Simon Mayo’s show, listen here (starts at 15:30).
A Q&A session they did with Jo Whiley before the concert can be seen on YouTube.
The Cast In Steel Tour continues tonight, at the Manchester Arena.