Rock in Rio Lisboa performance cancelled

Only six weeks after the announcement that a-ha would performing at this year’s Rock in Rio Lisboa in Portugal on 27 June, the festival organizers have decided to cancel this year’s event and postpone it to June 2021 instead. This is because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which will probably have an impact on live concerts and other public events for a long time to come.

Tickets already purchased will remain valid for the 2021 festival, but it remains to be seen if a-ha will still be part of the lineup next year.

This means the next a-ha dates scheduled will now be the South American tour after the summer, starting in Lima, Peru on 1 September 2020.

NME: Rock in Rio Lisbon postponed to 2021

South American dates announced

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The Hunting High And Low Tour has been expanded with nine tour dates in South America in September 2020, the official site announced today:

01 September: Parque de la Exposición, Lima, Peru
03 September: Movistar Arena, Santiago, Chile
05 September: Buenos Aires Arena, Buenos Aires, Argentina
08 September: Teatro Positivo, Curitiba, Brazil
11 September: Espaço das Americas, São Paulo, Brazil
13 September: Jeunesse Arena, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
16 September: Expominas Arena, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
19 September: Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil
22 September: Auditorio Nacion, Mexico City, Mexico

This will be the first a-ha tour of Brazil and Argentina since 2015, their first visit to Chile since 2010 and the first ever a-ha concerts in Peru and Mexico. Visit the official site for ticket details.

Japanese tour dates cancelled

Both Magne and Paul have now confirmed on Instagram that the five Japanese a-ha concerts in Tokyo (x2), Fukuoka, Osaka and Nagoya (10-17 March) have been cancelled due to the coronavirus. This comes in addition to the already cancelled concert in Singapore (21 March).

That means the second leg of the Hunting High And Low tour is now over. But hopefully it won’t be too long until new concert dates can be scheduled for Japan and Singapore.

Paul:

“…that was as far as we got on this leg of our tour..we’ll come back at a later stage to play the shows we’re missing out on. Be well everyone and keep washing those hands.”

Magne:

“(…) i was really looking forward to seeing our fans and friends in asia, but the safety of our fans has to come first of course. take good care of yourselves everyone, and see you later down the road!”

Singapore concert cancelled

Today it was announced that the upcoming a-ha concert in Singapore has been cancelled:

We are extremely sad to have to tell you that the show in Singapore on March 21 has been cancelled, due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) proliferation concerns.

We have been looking forward to do our first show for our fans in Singapore, and we know fans from all over South-East Asia had made plans to travel to the show as well.

It breaks our hearts to disappoint you, and we will do our best to make it back as soon as possible. Stay safe in the meantime.

Details about ticket refunds are available at sistic.com.sg.

a-ha to perform at Rock in Rio Lisboa

Festival ad

Rock in Rio Lisboa has announced that a-ha will be performing at the festival on 27 June 2020. This will be the very first time a-ha perform live in Portugal.

The Rock in Rio spin-off festival has been held every other year since 2004, and is one of the largest of its kind in Europe, with an attendance of around 350,000 people.

Also performing on the same day will be Duran Duran, Xutos & Pontapés and Bush.

For some reason Duran Duran are headlining, although it could be argued that a-ha have been more successfull in Europe in recent years, both in the charts and as a touring act.

Tickets are available here.

a-ha in Dubai and South Africa

Morten in Johannesburg, 15 February
(Picture by Brad W)

The Hunting High and Low tour continued in Dubai on 10 and 11 February, a place where a-ha performed for the very first time.

While the 20-song setlist was the same as before, there was no video wall at these shows – presumably because the Dubai Opera venue is fairly small. There was also new intro music before “Take On Me”, instead of the “Commuter” short film.

Both concerts were well-received by an appreciative audience.

YouTube videos from Dubai
Dubai photos and review by Richard Cawood

Last weekend it was South Africa’s turn, with the band performing their first concerts in the country since 1994. The two concerts in Cape Town on 14 February and in Johannesburg on 15 February were both outdoor shows and the response from the crowd was reportedly very good.

Once again, there was no video wall as stage backdrop this time, only two side screens – thus making the visual show a considerably more scaled-down version compared to the European tour. The setlist was also shortened, with both “Crying In the Rain” and “Digital River” being cut. And instead of an extended break after the album set, they went straight from “Here I Stand and Face the Rain” into “Sycamore Leaves” – shuffling songs around for the first time since the tour started in October.

Take on Me (Cape Town)    The Living Daylights (Cape Town)
I’ve Been Losing You (Johannesburg)    The Living Daylights (Johannesburg)

Before the Cape Town concert, Magne and Morten were interviewed for the TV show Afternoon Express. The segment can be seen on YouTube here (starts at 49:40).

 
Pictures from Johannesburg by Brad W:

 
South African setlist:
1. Take on Me
2. Train of Thought
3. Hunting High and Low
4. The Blue Sky
5. Living a Boy’s Adventure Tale
6. The Sun Always Shines on TV
7. And You Tell Me
8. Love is Reason
9. I Dream Myself Alive
10. Here I Stand and Face the Rain
11. Sycamore Leaves
12. I’ve Been Losing You
13. Foot Of The Mountain
14. Analogue
15. The Swing Of Things
16. Stay On These Roads
– – – – – – – – – – – –
17. Scoundrel Days
18. The Living Daylights

Other links:
Cape Town photos by Leigh Groenemeyer
Cape Town photos by Warren Talmarkes
Cape Town review by “6000”
Johannesburg photos by Stefan Botha
Johannesburg review by Bruce Dennill

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