'And you are like me when you dance. Music non stop at the end'
The gig took place in the athletic hall where I usually play Floorball, which was quite an odd contrast.
It was sold out, around 2000-2500 people and it wasn't any drunken hooligans messing too much. Which was a nice change.
The qeue outside wasn't too bad, also we had the special passes so we got in quite fast.
I was there with around 7 friends, I say around cos it was just a big Uni party to be honest, so you met lots of people you are half friends with as well. But anyway..the 7 close friends at least were those I went with technically. One of the girls didn't wanted to be so close to the stage so she and three guys went up to the 'chair' section, there were two on both sides of the mosh pit practically. You could see amazingly from there as well so it wasn't really that bad. But I, Sara, the one who I went to the After Party with, and Daniel and Fredrik went to the inner section. It was divided as well (!), around 200 people I guess. We had pretty good sight to say the least.
We waited around an hour. Talking, looking at the stage crew while they were setting up the things and just waiting in anticipation.
Around 8.15 the support band called Melody Club came on stage. They have released two great singles so I was fairly lookin forward to them. And they really rocked. Only played 5 songs..which was kind of good. Wasn't dragging on in the wait of Kent to come on. They did a good job though to get the crowd going. Must say they were the greatest support band I have seen, excluding Finsbury obviously.
It was a short and speedy time. The crowd jumped most when the two singles were played but the three other songs were okay as well. They had some cool light- flashing during their set.
Then it was a break and we all were starting to really want Kent to get on now. You could definitely feel the excitement around you building up even more.
So finally after around 30 minutes the lights went down again and a techno intro mixed with talks and helicopter sounds were starting. (I am guessing cos it was very strange..good intro nontheless. Just strange, you couldn't really tell what it was.)
And then the guys come onstage one after another and the first note they play is for the King Is Dead and it was my first definite song that I loved by Kent so it was so perfect. I vageuly remember putting a fist up in the air just saying yes! It was the perfect start and it was unbelivable. Massive is one word that would describe it good. They had another guy with them onstage who controlled the keyboards and other such things, but also played an extra guitar sometimes. And so he did with the first one, while Jocke played too. So it was 4 guitars all in all. And you could definitely tell. Heavy as hell. At first Jocke had some problems with the microphone and the volume I think cos he looked at the side for a while and to be honest his voice sounded smurf like. It usually happens when the music is loud but this was a bit more. But after a minute or so it was all okay.
Sundance Kid was the next one but to be honest then I was in such a haze after hearing the King Is Dead that I can't recall the song at all apart from that Markus, the drummer, did some great backing vocals. After that, Dom Andra started and the entire crowd started whistle the whistle line that goes through the song. Most likely it would have sounded horrible with only us whisteling but with the music and the rest, it sounded beautiful.
Jocke then goes on with introducing Parlor as the greatest song in the world and in that moment it surely was. Always been one of my fav's from the new album. And live it is more punkier and rockier. Adds even more spice to it. The vocals in the song is quite fast and over crossing but he managed to pull it off greatly, every two sentence his mic volume went down and it turned it into a vocoder of some sort which made it sound even better than on the record.
And it just kept on going and going...over and over you thought, they can't top this. And the next song starts and you realise that they are actually doing it. It's like hearing Supersonic as first song and then actually getting songs that feels better and better after one another.
After Pärlor Jocke said that the next one they were going to play was a five year old song and that it first started with them wanting to write a reggae song. "What an idea that was.." he said after in a sarcastic tone before the intro to Celsius started. Which was a great surprise, didn't think they would play that song from Isola.
The gig slowed down afterwards with Chans and Kevlarsjal. Two very distinctive Kent love ballads. Lots of lighters in the air.
During the introduction for the next song a funny thing happened.
Jocke: This song is about...
Guy in the crowd: Sex!
Jocke: I heard that! The one who said that will be put up against the wall outside later!
Some seconds after, just before starting again..
Jocke: This song is about friendship...*silently* and sex!
And then they started playing Kram (which is indeed about sex), Blajeans and Pojken Med Halet I Handen. A three song short almost punk-ish 7 minutes. And it was a lot of singalong during that time. Amazing to hear. Standing infront of the stage and hearing Jocke sing but also hearing the 2000 behind me singing it too was something out of this world.
Afterwards it was time to slow things down again and they started playing my absolutely favourite Kent song. If it was one song I wanted to hear it was that one. Stop Me June (Little June) it's called. Always felt like it was written for me. And hearing it live...I can't explain. It was so beautiful. I think I wasn't actually closing my eyes but I was having my eyes open but still not noticing anything. It was just music through all my senses.
Socker was next with its pounding drums and peculiar and great lyrics.
The one getting the most cheers and singalong was the song coming next, If You Were Here. Don't Look Back In Anger has gotten a rival. Without a doubt.
They finished off with Elite, which was taking you straight through the roof if I can be using such a cliché. The chorus pulsating out like gospel: "And I caaannn taaakkeee youuuuu thereeeee!" And you really felt Kent could this night, and you couldn't care less where it was cos wherever it was they were taking you it was wonderful musical heaven. Then Jocke was left with his electric guitar only and he did a fantastic version of Sverige, with Markus on cymbals. It spoke to everyone in there. So beautiful and poetic.
'Tellement loin de ce monde'
Of course they came back for an encore and pulled off a three way rocket consisting of Karleken Vantar, Musik Non Stop and FF.
Karleken Vantar being another highlight with its wonderful guitar riff breaking through the air. Musik Non Stop as much disco as a rock song can get. The bass in that song is something you don't experince alot. I was definitely moved 10 meters all around during that song. Down from the roof was a big Disco Ball lowered down as well. Making the lights sparkle like a big party. Very nice touch.
FF was as Jocke said, disco like as well, but this time in French.
And then they left again...but of course, this is a fantastic night. They need to come back again. And they did.
Played two more songs. Vinter2Noll is their latest single that they recorded it to be a double A-side alongside FF. It is not on any album. And playing it in the absolute last encore shows alot of self confidence. And the song is just as great as they think it is.
Last one became 747, Kent's Champage Supernova practically. And the perfect ending to a perfect musical experience.
Even though I am hesitating in using the words cos this was something way more. Music at its ABSOLUTE best added 10 times.
During 747 they put on covers of albums I am guessing they like. Some of them from what I can remember and heard people say later were:
Music for the masses, Violater, Unknown Pleasures, Screamadelica, The Queen is dead, The Stone Roses, Ziggy Stardust, Low, Psychocandy, After the gold rush, Harvest, London Calling, Give 'em enough rope, Lust for life, Catch a fire - Bob Marley, I care because you do - Aphex Twin, Violent femmes, Urban hymns, Boy-u2, Computer world - kraftwerk, OK Computer, The River, Nebraska, Ill Communication, Strangeways Here We Come, Jeff Buckley.
Sure, some might have been evident choices maybe, but Beastie Boys wasn't really one of those you expected to see but great..and the Bob Marley album was the last one. Guessing one of their absolute favourites cos they have always said they love reggae.
After that it was spelled out a big THANX on the backdrop.
But of course we were the ones to say thank you.
After waiting and waiting for the days to pass until the Kent experience, the day had finally come. And it brought with itself so many fantastic emotions and experiences. The concert in itself was just so unbelivable. It is truelly music when it is at its best. In the back of my head I always knew though that they would be able to give me such feelings once I finally got to see them live.
And they are at their highest peak these days, not saying they will go downwards, I am confident they will stay at this peak for a long time more. Which is a great feeling that as well.
Anyway, going to this concert was always a clear thing ever since me and my friends saw the announcement that Kent would come to our town. But a week or so afterwards Sara, one of my corridor and neighbours and greatest friends came to me and said she had just gotten to passes to the Kent After Party and asked if I wanted to go with her. Of course there is only one single answer to that.
Ever since that moment I had not only been excited about the gig but also about meeting Kent. What to say? How will I act infront of my greatest heroes in swedish music? How will they act as well? Just so many questions and feelings.
Now a week and some after meeting the members of Kent I can just say that they were exactly how I imagined them to be. Well, not exactly though, I did prepared myself beforehand that they would be a bit more arrogant, not necessarily in a bad way, but just in the rock star manner and distance that famous musicians needs to put up when you meet so many people all the time.
But they were just like whomever else. Cool, relaxed and confident about themselves. And, you got relaxed in their company as well. You really felt that you could be yourself and not trying to act like you are really used to meet rock stars.
It sure has made an impact in me. And it has given me so many memories to keep with me througout my life.
I am feeling so blessed that I got the opportunity to live all this that you will read in the next parts.
I will always thank the music God that I know is somewhere. Thank him for one of the best evenings and nights of my life.
So, go on and read and take part of what can happen to some lucky people that meets their heroes for one night.
the after-show party and the meeting
So, totally in a high mood and not particularly willing to end the night Sara and I said bye to our other friends and left to meet the band itself. Walking through the doors of the After Party (not backstage but at a club that was transformed into a little party with 100 people or so) we realised that this is amazing. The whole thing was posh but cool and relaxed in the atmosphere.
So we walked around the place..took a drink each. Served by waitors and everything! And sat down on a sofa. We just sat there looking around, sometimes looking at eachother and shaking our heads. Couldn't believe we were there. After a while a couple of people walked through the doors. We straight away that it was Jocke and some of his friends. He starts to talk with people and so on. With nervous steps we walk towards him.
Says hi, shake his hand and thank him for a fantastic gig. I don't know how I managed to but I was talking with him normally for a while. Got some autogrpahs. The pens Sara and I had brought with us wasn't working too well on the covers and he got annoyed slightly. With a smile on his face still, of course. He then said after handing me the covers again that he would remember me as the Pencil Man and then he laughed out. Guess rock stars can have a easy humour sometimes after the gigs, heh.
I then ased how it was to tour with Thastrom, which was the singer of Ebba Gron and who has kept on making music since they split in 82.
Jocke went on saying that he was actually slightly nervous as well cos he has always loved Ebba Gron too. But he thought Thastrom was just a cool guy. And that he enjoyed touring with him and playing alongside such a hero, as he put it. We then started talking about Ebba Gron. He said that he was at one of their last gigs before breaking up and that people stood in the crowd and crying almost. (Ebba Gron hadn't split then but most knew it was closing in). He said that after that concert he always knew that he wanted to be able to have such an impact on people, just through music.
I also asked how they write the songs. I know that I definitely didn't ask it with such a sentence but sadly I can't recall how I asked it. Anyway, he then said that he usually writes alot of lyrics now and then and that when they meet up, the band, Sami and Harri has usually come up with ideas for melodies. Also Markus, the drummer, helps in with lyrics sometimes and musically. But mostly Jocke does it alone.
Also melodies sometimes. But he made it very clear that it is definitely a band process, even if he comes up with the ground ideas he would never make the songs how they turn out on the records.
Then he mingled a bit more and we went back to the sofa.
After some time some guy sits down next to us and asks how we are doing. We had our backs towards the position where he sat down so we turned our heads and it is Sami, the lead guitarist. I can't explain but it was just so strange...they were walking around and talking like normal people. But they shouldn't be normal! But a great feeling knowing they are...incredibly cool people. So anyway, Sami recognised my dialect and asked where I come from, knowing it couldn't be from the south..I told Köping and he puts on a big smile and taps my shoulder. "Ah, close to Tuna then, I've been there sometimes....it's...swedish..isn't it?" It sure is... :P
He also then signed some covers and asked what we thought of the concert and stuff. He said we had been a great crowd, and you could see in the eyes that he meant it.
We went on letting the minutes and hours pass, talking to 'normal' people. I managed to get some autographs from Martin as well, the bass player. But he was quite wasted to be honest and he walked around all the time so it was a bit hard. ;)
Jocke passed our sofa again once and said hi and bye, as they were going back to some hotel probably.
And after a while all Kent members were gone and it was time for us to leave as well. So we headed out into the dark night and towards our homes.