a-ha in Cape Town – some thoughts

Last night was really very special. Right up there with the Bergen concert.

A balmy evening, a really well-organised experience, some decent support acts, an appreciative crowd, and – of course – Morten, Magne and Pål doing their stuff up on stage. Really fantastic.

As a celebration of the 35th (weep!) anniversary of their first album, they played all ten tracks in full and in order before moving on to some of their more well-known songs. As a fan and a purist, this was so perfect: the opportunity to hear them play some stuff which I hadn’t heard live since (literally) 1986. Just a remarkable experience.

The Blue Sky was gorgeous, the demo version of I Dream Myself Alive was unique and such a rush for the true fans. Here I Stand And Face The Rain  was powerful, energetic and evocative.

And then done with the old stuff, and straight into the bassy, rocky Sycamore Leaves. Wow.

Shall we play something you all know, now?

asked Magne, and the crowd roared as they launched into I’ve Been Losing You. But I just wanted them to keep playing – whatever.

Foot Of The Mountain, Analogue and The Swing Of Things sounded better than I have ever heard them, Stay On These Roads was beautiful and so well-received and respected, and although we didn’t get Crying In The Rain or the new Digital River, that was just fine. It was almost as if they had tailor-made the setlist for me.

Thanks, boys.

The short, but sweet encore of Scoundrel Days (a personal favourite) with a scary echoey reverb, and a rousing The Living Daylights rounded the evening off perfectly.

Not that I couldn’t have done with another hour and a half.  A really wonderful experience, and one I was so chuffed to have shared with the kids.

Was this my last a-ha concert? Who knows? (After all, I have been to my last a-ha concert several times already…!) I hope not, obviously, because I just love their music and hearing it live is so special for me.

But… but, if it was, then this was a fitting send off. What a truly exceptional evening.

 

All my photos from the concert (15)

Concert Friday

a-ha* in Cape Town. When you say it, it sounds pretty amazing. Maybe the music isn’t for you (because ok, each to their own), but then there’s the destination. Maybe the destination isn’t for you (weirdo), but it’s always pretty cool to go a concert, right?

If someone had offered me a ticket to a concert in Cape Town before I lived in Cape Town, I’d be pretty wowed. Now it’s just a concert up the road.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m not really looking forward to it.

And I’m looking forward to taking the kids along as well. The boy, with his shared middle name, and the girl, who knows all the words to all the songs. (And my long-suffering wife, of course, who tolerates and even supports my fandom.)

This will be my boy’s first “proper” concert. And that seems fitting, since a-ha was my first ever proper concert way back in the mid-80s. Something of a rite of passage then. This will be the seventh time I’ve seen them – living right down here in the bottom corner of Africa really limits your options as far as regularly attending gigs goes.

And in a weird twist, with Mrs 6000 away and no football on (I now, right?) after picking up the kids from Scouts, I ended up watching anything on the TV last night. The film I saw the end of even had an a-ha song in it just before the protagonist was ripped back through time to live another day.
Do you know? Can you guess?

Look out on IG and twitter for concert updates (links in sidebar), but please understand that I’m there for the experience, not to point and shoot.

 

* got to write it right. 

On online conflict (or not)

If there’s one thing that social media has done, it’s allowed a voice to the voiceless. And while that might seem like a good thing (and in some cases is a good thing), in the vast majority of situations, it’s actually a complete pain in the arse.

Take the anti-vaxxers, for example. I mentioned this last week: their online presence is every bit as big and organised as real medical professionals. And for a lot of people (who choose not to actually think), that means that their views are equally valid. You and I, each blessed with a functioning brain, can quite clearly see the difference between the two parties, and make up our own minds based on logic and information. Others, however, will take whatever they read first as gospel, no matter who happens to have said it, and that’s a real issue.

The other benefit/problem of this new found freedom of discourse is that you find yourself forced to continually interact with people that you usually wouldn’t choose to “in real life”, simply because you find yourselves on the same Whatsapp group because they bought a house 300m from yours or some such.

This could be incredibly enriching experience – an opportunity to see things through others’ eyes. However, in the vast majority of situations, it’s actually a complete pain in the arse.

And of course that swings both ways – they probably really don’t want anything to do with you either. And yet here we all are, each drawn together outside our comfort zones, wearing forced smiles and spouting false platitudes in order that we don’t get booted off the group in question and thus miss some vital piece of local information. Is it worth it? Of course it is – if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t still be on the group.

I don’t mind admitting that there are certain individuals on some social media groups who – for me (and others) – have gained “a reputation”. And not in a good way. You know what’s likely to be coming from them (because you’ve seen it a million times before), and you know that you’re not going to like it. Equally, I might be (indeed, I probably am) one of them to other people, simply because they don’t like what I say any more than I like what they say. We really wouldn’t last as friends. With good reason.

I don’t suffer fools gladly (because again, “in real life”, I don’t have to), but I really do try not to engage. I’ve got near endless patience and a wonderful ability to zone out and ignore most anything that annoys me. I have had plenty of practice of sitting on my hands and not responding to idiots people on twitter, and I’ve worked out that I don’t have to respond, even when someone shares something so utterly nonsensical that it rattles my spidey-senses.

But jeez. They walk among us. And on the internet, it’s likely that their voices are every bit of loud as ours. Sad and terrifying.