The warm up act was a Canadian folk-song singer on an accordion. He was interesting, and I mean that in a positive manner. And his music vaguely resembled that of Kaizers’. But I won’t remember him for more than his ability to have the audience chant ‘fuck the police’ in unison with him. By the time he finished the audience was much smaller than anticipated. The concert had been sold out for months. Only in the last minutes before the main act entered the stage did the seat around me fill up. Three of the chairs to my right were still empty when Jan Ove (the lead singer) started the show. I tried to ignore this, but it bothered me.
I sat completely absorbed in the music, determined to not miss a second of the show. Three songs into it three girls, a few years younger than myself, walked towards the row I was sitting on. Each with a pint of alcopop in their hand. They giggled and talked as they had everyone on the left of their seats stand up and let them pass. In front of me sat a girl with what appeared to be her brother and their parents. She was on Facebook on her phone. Talking to her mother and showing her her friends’ photos. Then there was something going on behind us. Then she was on snapchat, watching videos, showing them to her brother while laughing and talking. I tried to focus on the concert, but evidently what happened around me annoyed me. But, there were no empty chairs and the floor was packed.
A song ended. We stood up. Not all of us obviously. Some only looked around themselves, at those of us who risen to our feet to cheer, then they turned back to their friends. One of the better known songs with beat that encourages dancing left some of us standing. Clapping, dancing, singing along. A man a few rows down asked some girls to sit down. I stood my ground. After that song I cheered louder, I clapped harder. After another song came another hit. More people stood up. More people sang. More people danced. All of them clapped.
Those of us standing up, dancing, clapping, singing increased for every song played. Behind me was a young boy likely to have been born in the beginning of the last decade. He was sitting, his parents next to him, on the very edge of his seat. His bright voice broke through the common voice of the crowd. He knew the lyrics to every song. The man who had earlier asked two girls to sit down was now standing himself. Next to him was a boy in his late teens. The teenager was clapping. He had absolutely no sense of rhythm. But he clapped, he smiled, he sang and he danced.
Two thirds into the show not a single seat in my vicinity was folded out (down?) Everybody was on their feet. Some still looked uncomfortable, but they smiled, they clapped, they sang along and their feet tapped the beat. Nobody used their phones unless to film or take pictures. It seemed many came to the concert only accompanying someone else who really wanted to go. By the end of the show it seemed nobody wanted to leave.
In February, while I was taking care of a very wee baby, the tickets were made available. In a daze where little sleep, force-feeding a baby that slept through everything and trying to taking care two children instead of one took up too much of my brain capacity, Kaizers Orchestra declared this to be their very last year in the music industry, ending it all with a total of nine concerts during a ten-day-period in September.
Kaizers are big here, they’re huge! No chance as a prophet in your own land? We’re talking divine status. Still I naively thought the concerts would take some time to sell out. I was wrong. I soon realised how wrong I was and had to get a ticket myself, quickly! The only available were seated single tickets, so that’s what I go.
I’ve never been to a concert all by myself. I had my parents babysitting. The day had been ‘hectic’ – to be modest. I didn’t even have time for a shower. I quickly changed. My phone in one pocket, a VISA card in the other along with a neatly folded ticket. 20 degrees on a September day holding on to summer. A perfect evening.
The entrance were decorated with images summing up the band’s career. There was prop-shops and bars and modest yet pompous decorations reflecting the style of the band. I walked around taking it all in. Walking around all by myself was quite liberating. I had time to look, think and feel. Feeling my stomach tighten as I knew that a few hours from now I would have seen them live for the very last time.
I found my seat. The stress of the day was still heavy on my shoulders. I sat down, let out a deep breath and let it all go. My view was good. I was not too far from the stage. Then I sunk down on the seat took up my phone and spent some time in my own little bubble. Waiting.
Today it feels so good to sit inside. It’s been raining followed by thunder and lightning since the early hours of the night. Proper, heavy rain showers over us in regular intervals. It’s thrilling.
After a wee walk to get Son to kindergarten I’m no sitting in silence and solitude while Daughter is having a nap outside. The tea is still warm and I have nothing in this world that calls for my attention. I’m taking deep breaths and enjoying my life thoroughly.
The weather calls for lazy days inside this weekend. Boardgames and movies with the children, I also see cinnamon and hot cacao in the near future. Tomorrow I’m off, all alone among a few thousands, to bid one of my favourite bands farewell. This week they’ll give their very last concerts. A grand, thrilling and yet very melancholic event.
We have a saying in Norway: ‘You can never be a prophet in your own hometown.’ In many cases that saying is true. However, there is a band from the area which has really proven it wrong. The band released their first album in 2001 and the songs were soon on everyone’s lips. Last year a play was set up based on their songs. The theatre sold out and set up more shows, which again sold out. Then the band announced their tour dates, which included five concerts here. All five concerts sold out rapidly.
As a perfect date (it sounded like one in my head at least) I bought tickets to go see the play as part of Husband’s advent calendar (according to Husband this sounded like something I’d like more than him. I, however, think he failed to see the wonderful gift of giving him a chance to learn to love the theatre and live plays – broadening his horizon in a positive manner must truly be a thoughtful and gratifying gift – and I think these aspects undoubtedly overshadow the hint of selfishness that one could argue was present in the buying of this gift)(and let us ignore the fact that I listen to the band more than he does and know more of their songs). Anyway, the tickets I bought were for a day in early December. On the day of the show, I was in London. My perfect date happened without me. The date was in fact not a date at all, but an evening out for Husband and a friend of his. They both enjoyed the show though, but I was a little sad. Not only had I missed out on a great date out with Husband, I had also missed the sold out play that I had looked forward to.
I have just started working as a teacher again. Already the first week I was presented with one of the perks of the trade: the school had bought tickets for all the students to go see the play. Obviously, they needed teachers to go with them.
The play was fantastic! We’re talking goosebumps, tears, laughter, and pain. The only thing missing was the company of my knight in shining armour – but I see more dates in our future!
And btw: Band is Kaizers Orchestra, play is called Sonny.