a-ha perform two full albums in Oslo

a-ha, Olso Konserthus, 4 October 2010

Oslo Konserthus, October 4th

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
Manhattan Skyline
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.

Aftenposten has an article about the concert here, while Dagbladet has a review here.

There is also a review in Dagsavisen (5 out of 6) and an article at popsenteret.no.

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.

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