Friday, March 17, 2006

Mosaic Music Festival Presents Kings Of Convenience

So I sat down in seat EE8 which I didn't think was so bad. Began surveying the concert hall. Nice and cosy. And some ambient track of discordant beats and blips. Sounds like an Intelligent (as oppose to "unintelligent"?) Dance Music track.

A while later, saw alot of familiar faces, people who frequented Zouk like xx's friend, pin's friend and mong's friend. Yeah, all of them are other people's friend. not mine.

This was the first sold out concert for the Mosaic Music Festival and it wasn't so unexpected because I bought the ticket on the second day it was released and the concert hall was already half-filled.

There were screens on the sides of the hall showing random visuals. Not entirely random either since it was actually coordinated by the opening act, this Singaporean guy who does IDM (Intelligent Dance Music). When he finished, a number of us clapped as he began shutting down his powerbook.

Couple on the Right
The couple seated on my right was adamant in not clapping. Instead they were wondering why should that clap for someone who was doing something useless. The lady was complaining to the husband(?) that she don't knnow what to make of the noise. And if only it ended earlier. As the stagehands were removing the equipment offstage, the husband pointed out that the useless performance further wasted time because the equipment had to be removed. These are "artsy" people okay. They attended Budak Pantai show before one okay? That was couple on the right.

Couple on the Left
Couple on left, the guy was trying to impress his girlfriend with music knowledge. Think the girl was the fan and not the guy. He commented that the crowd looks young and asked, "Are they sixteen? They look like they can't get into a club. Why would they be interested in Simon and Garfunkel songs?" This couple has tickets to jason mraz as well. But in the middle of the concert, the guy was looking so bored (as opposed to the people who can't enter clubs yet who were enjoying themselves thoroughly). Bigoted, with ego as fat as his waist. Pity the girlfriend.

Ladies and gentlemen......Kings of Convenience
Erlend and Eirik walked to the middle of the stage and pretty soon started the concert with the same song they always start with: Until You Understand (see below for full tracklisting).
They really looked relax and Erlend was soon engaging the crowd with some banter about how there are empty seats although the festival folks told them that theirs was a sold out show. Erlend thought the seats reserved for the sponsors were empty and encouraged people to take them and amidst the talking, they broke out into their second song: Love Is No Big Truth.
The empty seats were filled before the 4th song started.
The two were talking about how they found it really amazing to be playing before 1600 people in Singapore. They chatted about Bergen, Sweden and were teasing about each others' mums. Only the most optimistic of people will believe that two guys with two guitars can play halfway around the world in a sell-out concert after only two albums. Apparently Eirik isn't one of them. He was saying, "I don't consider myself as one of those optimists." and you can actually hear a number of female voices sighing like they would really want to mother him or something. In the same breath he introduced the next song: Winning The Battle, Losing The War.
Then it was a new track! Offbeat. Eirik was on the piano. Catchy refrain.
I was blogging sometime ago in january that Feist, the canadian singer they collaborated with on Riot On An Empty Street wasn't going to be around but they did Know How anyways with us singing along. Fun Fun FUN!

Imagine you are in Norway....
Then the whole concert hall was bathed in darkness as KoC lulled the crowd with Homesick, dreaming about Norwegian Christmases. We whistled along, providing the viola backing that usually accompanied Stay Out Of Trouble. I must point out at this juncture that both guys on my right were almost falling asleep (maybe they are!) and didn't participate in any of the humming, singing or whistling. Erlend tickled the ivories (lousy cliched phrased) and did an improv at the ending of a medley of Singing Softly To Me/The Girl From Back Then.

Eirik was bantering with the crowd when a lady screamed out, "EIRIK, YOU'RE THE BEST!" and I think he might have been genuinely embarrassed but remained composed. He then asked if there was anybody amongst us who was celebrating their birthday since there is a probability of 4 in 1600 of us being borned on 16 Mar. KoC then sang a traditional Norwegian birthday song (with some help from the dozen Norwegians seated in the hall). The title of the Norwegian birthday song is Bursdagssangen which I found out from this site: click here Erlend said he knew there were 2000 Norwegians in Singapore and was expecting 1600 of them to be at their concert and was thankful that wasn't the case. He pointed out that the Norwegians were the blondes, in case we miss them. Right.

We were humming along to Misread and when it ended, some guy shouted, "ERLEND! YOU'RE THE BEST!" and Eirik replied, "He knew that."
Things really got into the swing when they played I'd Rather Dance With You but they said it was their last song. Someone amongst us shouted, "LIAR!" haha. They soon got people to dance on the stage, only after much haggling with the security and pleading from Erlend. So about 8 ladies or so (no guys) went on stage and started some "round the mulberry bush" or "maypole" thingy. Erlend was showing some of his moves that really got us going. Finally he asked, "Hey, aren't you tired of sitting?" and it was all the catalyst needed to get EVERYBODY up. Yes, even the two guys next to me, after about a minute of refusals and denials. So there was dancing by just about everyone, on stage, off stage. When they finished, the ladies gave them hugs (the girl who thought Eirik is the best was on stage, naturally).

All of us were so bullish in getting them out refusing to stop clapping and begging them to come out. They finally obliged with two songs, Little Kids and Manhattan Skyline (A-Ha cover). By this time, everyone who had a camera was whipping them out and was trigger happy and it was really funny seeing security scurrying around, haplessly trying to stop them. Damn! No camera.
And when it was finally over, Eirik and Erlend took turns to take pictures of us from the stage. Erlend body surfed into the crowd and Eirik snapped a few more shots. I wonder how many of such shots do they have? And then it was all all over. Missed the autograph session. Drats!

Full Tracklist
1. Until You Understand (Track from UK Promo Playing Live In A Living Room)
2. Love Is No Big Truth
3. Cayman Islands
4. I Don't Know What I Can Save You From
5. Winning The Battle Losing The War
6. The Boat Behind (New song! Can't find it in any lyric search engine on the internet! I thought I heard Erlend say the title was Offbeat*)
7. Know How
8. Homesick
9. Stay Out Of Trouble
10. Singing Softly To Me/The Girl From Back Then
11. Toxic Girl
12. Gold In The Air Of Summer
13. Bursdagssangen (Traditional Norwegian Birthday Song)
14. Misread
15. I'd Rather Dance With You
16. Little Kids
17. Manhattan Skyline (A-Ha cover, from 1986 Scoundrel Days)

And for those who were there, we all sounded really fantastic when we were humming along to Misread, singing along to Know How. I am listening to it over and over. ;0) Thank god for iPod and iTalk.
*Just read Yeow Kai Chai's review of the performance. Apparently he heard it as Offbeat as well. But the KoC giglist puts it as The Boat Behind. You can hear the mp3 of the song online by clicking the song which was played even in June 2005. But he could be wrong as well, Mr Yeow, because, and I am being anal here, thought Homesick was the opening track for Riot In An Empty Street. I believe the album was Riot On An Empty Street and the opening track for the album, unless you have got the Mars release limited edition pack, is Winning The Battle, Losing The War.


Anonymous said...

I was listening to their tracks for the whole of today, the post concert syndrome I guess.

I guess, there were people who just went there clueless, but became KOC fans overnight, now that's the power of music :)


Paul said...

Just visitin while searching for Kings of Convenience photos. Awesome review, really wish i was there. check this review out: