Trondheim Calling: Day 1

Trondheim Calling: Day 1

The winter music festival started with a bang last night.

Finally, Trondheim Calling has gotten started and the List has been counting down the days.

The first stop had to be the festival bar at Trondheim Calling’s headquarters. It was a great way to get in the festival mood and plan the path through the night.

Photo: Torleif Kvinnesland

After that, we hopped across the street to Moskus and Jonas Skybakmoen. It was pretty packed when we first walked in, but we managed to get up to the bar as people kept streaming through the door. By the time the show started there was little room to move. But this only added to the show, with such an up-close, intimate venue the energy from the band cascaded over the crowd easily.

I had never heard any of Skybakmoen’s music before I walked into Moskus last night, and I certainly enjoyed what I heard. With synthy pop beats the tunes reminded me much of 80’s synth-rock, but with a modern twist. The concert was over before I was ready, all the bands last night were playing shorter sets. While it was incredibly cozy pressed up against a number of strangers, I could have done with a few more tracks from Jonas Skybakmoen and co.

While Jonas had a tremendous voice and stage presence, I was most impressed by the drummer. The dude played his parts to perfection – at least to my unmusical ear.

Jonas Skybakmoen Photo: Torleif Kvinnesland

Quickly disengaging from the crowd in Moskus we popped out the door to catch a little breath. Then hit the bricks in the direction of Diskoteket, the next stage of our journey with another band I had little background on before last night: Sam & Sky.

We rolled into Diskoteket pretty early to have a chance at getting a good spot to post up by the stage for Sam & Sky’s show…and of course for easier access to the bar. The crowd starting filtering in, but with a bigger venue compared to previous one, we had a little breathing room.

Without warning the music started and I was immediately caught up in the atmospheric beats and smooth female vocals accompanying them. The music had a great vibe and is the kind of music you want coming out the stereo parked in some sweaty club or while getting ready with the squad to paint the town red.

From the back of the room what struck me as odd had nothing to do with the music, but more the Norweigian-ness of the crowd. There was hardly a bobbing head to be seen, let alone anyone letting loose.

Captivated by this social aspect of my adopted home, I wanted a chance to speak with the artists about their show. As they were breaking down their equipment I chased the duo down. And started with a good ol’ fashioned: “how ya’ doin’?”

“It was good, it was a short set, but as we’re working on completing an album it was perfect with the material we had ready” beat-master Sam had to say.

“I love the tiny clubs here in Trondheim, this is the second time we’ve played here.” was the frontwoman, Sky’s, response.

The pair both gave great insight into what playing for a Norwegian audience is like as well:

“If you can get a Norwegian to bob their head you know you are doing something right,” said Sky.

Would have loved to see a repeat performance from the two this weekend, but for now keep an eye out for Sam & Sky’s coming album, as well as some future tour dates. The List certainly hopes they will be back in Trondheim soon!

Dipping out from there it was straight to Kunsthallen for one of the bands I’d been looking forward to the most: Haunted Mansions.

Immediately upon arrival, I realized I wasn’t wearing enough flannel to fit into the crowd. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying the music immensely. Having heard a million different descriptions of Haunted Mansion I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was more than pleased with the results. To me it had elements of surf and synth rock, mixed up with Haunted Mansion’s own unique flavour.

Kunsthallen was a cool venue, but I think Haunted Mansions will be best served on the bigger stage in Olavshallen Lille Sal on Saturday. Definitely recommended!

It was cold as sh*t out there last night, and also a weekday, which made the streets pretty quiet in terms of people walking around. I expect the activity will be much more amplified tonight and tomorrow. Just don’t forget to bring your jacket!

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