Karlstad: A small town band in a small town
Let’s have a concert review that is a bit different.
When you do a report about a gig, you usually write about setlists, how the audience was and which special stuff the band came up with. Fine, and the weather in case it was worth mentioning, like on the very first gig of this tour when it rained cats, dogs, elephants and crocodiles.
Soooo, Karlstad. The weather was great, not too warm, not too cold. The band was great, granted, Syd forgot one line but hey. In short: It was close to a perfect show. Setlist? I don’t care about setlists really. As long as I have fun, it’s all good. Sorry. Concerts are for fun, not for noting down songs in a particular order. One thing I have to add, and I will probably write about this in one of the other articles to come: The show has improved since gig #1. But really, that is all I wanted to write about the usual things. Let’s finally turn to something else.
What is going to a concert in a Swedish small town like, you may wonder reading this beautiful little website from abroad. Well, Karlstad is Sweden’s 17th-biggest town. It’s what you would call a small town. They say, when you go North from here, you are going places where there live more moose than men. True stuff! People here don’t get to see as many concerts as their friends in Stockholm or Malmö. International acts concentrate on the huge venues. So when a band like Gyllene Tider turns up, this is quite a thing. They have a park with domestic animals here, Mariebergsskogen. You can enter for free, spend the whole day here, lay on the green grass or watch the water of the lake next to this place.
So when Mariebergsskogen turns into a concert place, a few things are happening. They close down the park for half a day, people with boats gather on the lake behind the stage to have a free listen, the town runs out of parking places within minutes and thousands of people take their families, blankets and seats and come to the venue. Unlike the shows in the cities, it all feels more familiary. People are more relaxed, they sit on the green, they dance, they celebrate. This is really something you should get to see one day. Not from the front row. The most interesting things happen back in the last rows where the sight is so-so but the sound is surprisingly crisp. You see smiling faces, couples holding hands, people dancing or simply sitting and enjoying their food.
If you want to experience this too, go to see one of the smaller concerts. Eskilstuna is your next chance. Right after that, GT will perform in the mighty Ullevi stadium in Göteborg. If you’re curious to see if there are differences, keep watching this place. In the meantime enjoy the photos from Karlstad.
Photos: Kai-Uwe Heinze/The Daily Roxette