Freeday 9 April 1999


Pic of the day: Dark in the darkness at day.

This day means two things to me.
First, it's Norways semi-official German Bashing Day. On this day we use to remember the German invasion of Norway, on April 9th 1940. The fervor of this commemoration has lessened somewhat since my childhood, but still people will flock to the slogan "Aldri mer 9. april!" (Never again April 9th!)

In stark contrast to this, tonight is the day Infinity has their concert in Kristiansand. As I've said before, Infinity is a small but very energetic Happy Dance band. I grew up with Beatles and their kind, but I easily admit that Infinity is much better in my ears. So I bought a ticket to their concert tonight.

On second thoughts, I had second thoughts, of course. Going to dance parties is plain simply not my style. I don't dance, certainly not with others. Yes, it has happened, but usually only when people were too drunk to notice. And definitely nothing like this. I don't really know much about the choice of a new generation. They don't look like me, they don't dress like me, they don't even talk like me. I even imagine the local full of junkies and second generation immigrants.

Then again, why worry? NATO is goading Russia relentlessly over the bodies of their Slavic kinsfolk, never mind that Russia is on the verge of collapse and led by a chronic drunkard with no future and a nuclear arsenal big enough to end multicellular life as we know it. If they make a wrong step, nobody will remember that I stuck out like a sore thumb on some concert in a remote little country.

Anyway: If my pious friends were right after all about the evil in the World, or if I actually do have a heart condition, then I guess these will be my final words to you. If I return, however, I'll be sure to give a fuller report. Bright blessings on you all! May you live and love forever.


Yay! I survived the concert and came home basically intact. However, I sure wish Real Life had a save and reload feature, or at least a fast rewind. I know what I would have done differently! First, I would have waited two more hours. I thought I was fashionably late: The doors opened 21:00 (9 PM) and I came half an hour later. Then, for two whole hours, I was subjected to an onslaught of sound. The local diskjockey obviously had other tastes than me, for the sounds seemed to me only occasionally to fall in the range of music. It seemed related to the melodious tunes of Infinity the way the gorilla is related to Einstein. After two hours of involuntary heart compression I was actually on the verge of taking the last bus home without having heard a tune from Infinity or even seen them. But one of the arrangers told me they were about to enter, and was wrong with only ca 10 minutes.

Secondly, I would have taken my old comfortable shoes. The new ones did cruel and unusual things to some of my toes, the left big toe in particular. And it was too dark that anyone would have noticed the age of my shoes. (In fact, the darkness and the "music" gave me strong association of Hell as popularly depicted. I started to repent sins already. And that was before the full effect of the shoes, which happened around the time the actual concert started.)

Thirdly, I would not have stood where I stood, in the front of and to the right of that big loudspeaker. My left ear will hopefully recover during the next few days, but it is not at peak performance right now.

All that said, Infinity were great when they finally came. Kjell has an astonishing scene presence. He seems to love his job, and quickly establishes rapport with his audience. He not only works out on the scene himself, but also entices the onlookers to dance, sing, jump, clap and feel like participants in the show. And of course I love Birgitte.
In this case, Birgitte is the second member of the on-stage crew (the third Infinitor, Egil, is an elusive and off-stage composer/writer/technician). She is cute, has a beautiful voice and a beautiful smile. She seems almost shy, at least compared with her outgoing comrade, but is never clumsy or unsure of her role.

At the advent of our heroes, all attempts at orderly dancing broke down, as the mainly quite young audience thronged towards the front. The age limit was 18, but there were a few girls that looked like jailbait. And that would be less than 16 around here. But generally the girls looked shapely and sporty, even more so than the somewhat fewer and not quite as young males. Both genders however were rushing towards the scene and ended up as a fairly dense mass of bodies in constant movement. People kept their hands in the air a lot and jumped up and down and swayed from side to side. Me, I also moved with the rhythm: When the rest of the audience moved left, I moved right, and when they moved right, I moved left. I'm good at this. The shoes helped too.

Infinity retreated after only a few songs. But as the public cried for their return, they appeared again, Kjell told us how great we were, and they took two more songs, with the active cooperation of most of those present. Then they left - and returned again after much wailing and whistling. More songs. Off stage again. Back for a last song, where there was a hands-up vote for which song to end with. "Feeling good" won, and by now I think most people were relly feeling good. People were still crying out for more when I left, but the artists were gone and the diskjockey was moving in. Rather than destroy the ambience by allowing more bad sound, I got away as fast as I could and took a taxi home. (It was now way too late for bus.)

Was it worth it? Not really. They performed the way I had guessed from their album and from chatting with them online. Their part of the evening was great, but including the $50 taxi fare it started to cost more than it tasted. And the largest part of the evening was verging on hellish. Sorry about that.

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