01-09.09.2023 Kaizers Orchestra (Konserthuset, Stavanger)

OK … I guess I can do one report for the first week of Kaizers concerts. =;-)

I hadn’t planned on writing anything, and to be honest, it felt incredibly good to be at a concert without writing down the setlist and trying to remember everything that happened – and of course, without having to find time the day after to come up with a report.

But then, this WAS the big Kaizers comeback that we all wished and hoped and waited for for the last 10 years, so OF COURSE I have some thoughts about it. And of course I’m gonna write them down. *g*

So, let’s start at the very beginning, with the very first concert, September 1. I had not prepared at all – I hadn’t listened to any of the old albums, I hadn’t re-watched any DVDs, I only had a few plays of the new songs, and I also hadn’t arranged to meet anybody. Because why would I – Kaizers concerts work in the way that you walk in and you see heaps of people you know and want to talk to, right?

Wrong. I walked in, was handed a Kaizers scarf (which could be really nice if I wasn’t so incredibly not interested in football =;-) ), and … didn’t see anybody I knew. When walking into the concert hall I at least ran into one fan I knew (and I’m sure there were more in the front row, of course, but I don’t queue), and then saw a rather poor amount of people in the front and otherwise – emptiness. I’m not sure what I had expected, but that was definitely NOT it. *lol*

Anyway, half a beer and a couple of round trips through the concert place later I had actually found some people I knew, and it started to feel a bit like “old times”. Even though I was totally aware that those old times are in the past, and they won’t come back. But at least, there was a little flare-up of how things used to be. =:-)

And of course, we started to speculate what would happen: Would they start with the Russian Dance? (Common consensus: yes, they really really should!) Which song would they start with? (Full agreement: Dine gamle dager) What would they play? (Common concern: mainly Violeta songs probably …)

((Side note: I just had to look up if it’s spelled Violeta or Violetta. It’s been a while … *lol*))

Right on time at 9 PM, the lights went out and … beware, from here there be spoilers, so don’t read on if you want to be surprised!

No Russian Dance. Instead, we got an intro that reminded me of the DGDEN trailer, with just some sounds, including a helicopter … wait, they aren’t gonna down from the ceiling, are they?! No, they weren’t. Helge came out first, theatrically put on some white gloves, sat down on the pump organ and started with … Ompa til du dør! =:-D

Yay, a perfect start, and completely unexpected! And to be honest, I didn’t get the reference at all until we discussed it a couple of days later. Ompa was the last song they played at Siste Dans, and the first one they came back with. There couldn’t have been a better choice!

I won’t go into the full concert now, just some thoughts. First of all, it REALLY felt like “old times”. So I guess the “dine gamle dager er nå” slogan they have now fits a lot better than the one they had around Siste Dans – “tid kan endre alt”. Because it didn’t feel like any time had passed! It felt like they’d been on stage just yesterday and picked up exactly where they left off.

Of course, the first concert was a little (very little) bit “stiff” and rehearsed. It was clear they had planned everything out in detail, and they did exactly what they had planned. The second show was similar, maybe a little more relaxed. But it wasn’t until the next week that they really loosened up – which I can understand 100%, and the first concerts weren’t bad because of it. They just had to warm up a little to get EVEN better!

Interestingly, there were quite a few wrong notes in the first shows though, which I hadn’t expected. Normally I would think those creep in when the band starts loosening up and maybe concentrating a bit less … but no, that actually got better show by show as well. =:-) Not that it was a problem anyway, it’s not like they were playing badly, and I prefer to have humans on stage rather than robots. =;-)

The setlist was great, with a good mixture of old stuff and Violeta songs. The full Gypsy Finale! =:-D Okay, I don’t really understand why they put Dr. Mowinckel in the middle of it … I mean, I love Dr. Mowinckel, but why not before or after the Gypsy Finale?

At the first show, they played Delikatessen, which was an absolute surprise. They later replaced that with Siste Dans (ok, nice song, but not Delikatessen) and even later with Prosessen (YAY!). Otherwise, no big surprises in my eyes. I’m not the biggest fan of Kvite russer (mainly because it’s really really long and kills your voice …), but the way they’re doing it this time with getting someone up on stage is kinda cute. A bit of a down-time for me at all concerts was the block of Støv & sand (Kaizers’ “Malin” *lol*) and I ett med verden – toilet break, anyone? =;-) And then of course there was Kaleidoskophimmel right before the encore break, which didn’t work at all. People just don’t know the song yet, and … well, it’s a Janove solo song anyway. They played it at the first shows, and people went to get a beer or started talking, and then they took it out of the set. Which is totally fine for me. =;-)

The barrels were of course back, and used for the old songs as usual. Not quite sure why they are now spitting smoke, that’s kinda distracting (and messes up barrel fotos!), but hey – Kaizers up on barrels is what counts! In the intermezzo part in Begravelsespolka, they now get up on the barrels instead of Janove and Helge tap-dancing – not sure why, but it works. What does absolutely NOT work though is the ending of Begravelsespolka where they keep repeating the “bli” over and over again (as usual) but stop before the “bli” in a different key – what the hell?! This is like ending a scale without the last tone, you just DON’T DO THIS!!!1

What else? Oh yeah, there was the scarf stunt at the first two concerts. Everybody had been handed a scarf at the entrance, and then during I ett med verden and later again during Kaleidoskophimmel everyone was supposed to lift them up. Overall, nice idea, and I’m sure it looked good as well, and it reminded me of the “Don’t ever split or quit” sign in Switzerland. =;-) I simply didn’t like the football feel of it all …

The audience was absolutely awesome overall. Pretty much everyone (at least in the front) was singing along with every single song, which isn’t really how it “used to be”. But of course, if it’s that difficult to get tickets, there is a bit of a selection on the audience and the amount of “let’s get drunk and talk through the concert, so I can tell my colleagues tomorrow that I was at a Kaizers concert” people is seriously reduced. Or, actually, I don’t think there were any of those people! Which also meant there were very few drunk people fighting their way to the front (some at the end of the concert maybe, but overall, not too bad).

What amazed me at several of the concerts was the amount of young kids (ok, I’m old by now, so with “kids” I mean like 18-25 =;-) ) that were really really into it. I mean, what other band can play a ballad (Hjerteknuser) and have a bunch of 18-year-old guys get really ecstatic about it?!

And of course, Die Polizei as conclusion to the shows, with the audience singing along and on their own for a really long time after the band went off stage … <3

So overall: Well, that was unexpected. =;-) I did expect to enjoy the concerts, because every time I’ve seen Kaizers after a bit of a break, I didn’t REALLY miss them in between, but once I’ve seen them again I knew what had been missing after all. However, I hadn’t expected the concerts to just feel like before. I’m older, they are older, the audience overall … should have been older but wasn’t really =;-), there’s a lot of things that have happened in the last ten years. But Kaizers live haven’t changed and are still absolutely amazing. =:-D

Looking forward to Oslo, Trondheim and then a bunch of concerts in Europe now!

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