a-ha at Over Oslo Festivalen

Morten on stage at Over Oslo, June 10th
(Photo by Jakob)

a-ha returned to the stage after a 3-week hiatus at the Over Oslo Festival this weekend, with two concerts on Friday and Saturday.

“Hello Oslo! Are you doing OK? We have been looking forward to being here today. Thank you so much for coming. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves and will do so for the rest of the evening. It’s a bit colder than earlier today, but try to keep warm”, Magne said when he greeted the audience of 6,000 people on Friday night.

In the days leading up to the festival, the band had been rehearsing indoors at Telenor Arena. In a VG article on Thursday, manager Harald Wiik confirmed that both Morten and Paul were diagnosed with Covid-19 on 23 May, and that Morten’s laryngitis was probably caused by Covid.

In the article Morten said it’s not been an easy recovery process:

“Some days have shown progress, other days I’ve been worse again. It’s a difficult balance between wanting to go back on stage and the risk of prolonging your illness. But the last few days have been consistently better and given hope that I can perform this weekend. The first test with the band yesterday was promising. If the voice shows the same kind of signals tonight, we’ll be playing shows on Friday and Saturday.”

When a-ha entered the stage at Over Oslo on Friday night, it became apparent that Morten’s voice was not yet healed. He sounded noticeably hoarse and avoided many of the high notes. Several times he held out the microphone to the audience for them to take over the singing.

Luckily, the audience seemed supportive and understanding of the situation, and Morten himself was in a good mood.

“Thank you dear audience for your patience and extended singalongs!”, Magne wrote on Instagram after the show, while Paul noted that “A great audience makes all the difference”.

The festival setlist was shorter than on the regular tour and obviously without any break in the middle. It included four of the songs that had been in rotation during the last few concerts in May; The Blood That Moves The Body, Foot Of The Mountain, We’re Looking For The Whales and Cry Wolf.

I have uploaded a video of The Blood That Moves The Body from Friday’s concert on YouTube. Another video with clips from different songs was posted by Aslak Ormestad.

Here are some photos from the concert on Friday, taken by me:

On Saturday the rain was pouring down on the festival area, but that didn’t stop another 6,000 people from turning up.

“You’ve survived the rain? Thank you for coming, and thank you for staying! I think you should give yourselves a big round of applause. I also think you should give an applause for Morten and Paul, who just went through Covid but still managed to be here tonight!”, Magne told the audience.

“It’s incredible that you’ve been standing here in the rain. I understand there’s been quite some weather. Fantastic”, Morten added.

A video with a selection of highlights from the second concert on 11 June has been posted on YouTube by Nichlas James Bates.

Setlist, Over Oslo:

1. Sycamore Leaves
2. The Swing Of Things
3. Crying In The Rain
4. The Blood That Moves The Body
5. Foot Of The Mountain
6. We’re Looking For The Whales
7. Cry Wolf
8. Scoundrel Days
9. Here I Stand and Face the Rain
10. Hunting High and Low
11. The Sun Always Shines on TV
12. I’ve Been Losing You
13. The Living Daylights
– – – – – – – – – – – –
14. Take On Me

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