A-ha MTV Unplugged Live At the O2 Arena!(London)
[By Yvonne Ballard For Electrypop]
It all started out at Giske with the Summer Solstice Unplugged gigs in June 2017. So then to the final acoustic set at the o2 in London on Valentines Day. An equal number of male and female attendees were present considering the date. There was a majority 60% of 40-50 years olds and the other 25% made up of under 18’s accompanied with parents, and those in their 30’s and 60’s.
At 8.20pm the trio of Valentines dates entered a lit halo in the middle of the stage. The other musicians and instruments were neatly assembled beyond a rear crescent of light. This Is Our Home was performed by Morten wearing his trademark sunglasses .Of which stayed on all night, instead of being removed after three songs! Halfway through this opening song, the music reached a powerful crescendo. So grateful for the microphone volume being cranked up, this proved spine tingling!
Lifelines and Paul wearing his hat as opposed to a beanie and the lighting used resembled the outer framework of the arena.Strings were arranged far left of our view, two guitarists, a keyboard, a Harpsichord, a harmonium and pianos too.
I’ve Been Losing You was performed on a stage that looked busy for an acoustic set. Who said the music had been stripped right down?.
Magne finally acknowledged the crowd with a, “Hello London!” As the beams moved around like searching headlights.
The memories of Giske returned again on This Alone Is Love with it’s medieval sound. Spotlights reaching skywards and then the trio was seen on upper stage screens as well as enlarged icons behind too.
On a slower note, Forever Not yours was next with that (medieval) sound as though it belonged to a banquet.
Analogue brought Morten to his feet with kaleidoscope type images displayed behind him.
All three sang throughout Manhattan Skyline. Even the ladies in the string section joined in!
Foot Of The Mountain was followed by a scenic film roving around Norwegian fjords during Stay On These Roads. More Norwegian images followed with A Break In The Clouds. Their beautiful way of sharing their homeland with us.
The stage was bathed with red light during Memorial Beach, turning to orange. Over The Treetops found all three on vocals again.
Magne informed us that, “We’d just caught the final of the acoustic tour.”Upon introducing us to the other musicians on stage, “Morten Qvenild, he’s Norwegian!” Magne proclaimed. Then announcing the following names, he admitted, “All of them are from Norway!”.
Morten got off his perch for Living A Boy’s Adventure Tale, but next up was a treat for most. Ian Mc Culloch from Echo And The Bunnymen came on stage and Morten gave him a hug. The stage lit with a purple glow and red lights for the collaboration of The Killing Moon. Both vocalists with dark glasses, Morten takes a step back as Ian takes the lead on vocals. After there was a hug for Magne, followed by Scoundrel Days in a blue haze. Morten took lead this time and Ian on backing vocals. Ian shook Morten’s hand and gave Paul a hug on his way off the stage.
Magne turned his hand to guitar for Summer Moved On….
After Hunting High And Low, the ground floor seating area(VIP) rose to their feet for The Sun Always Shines On TV. The rear screens informing us to which instruments were involved, far more than on a normal electric set.
At 9.50, after 90 minutes, it’s exit stage for an encore. The lights go down and three spotlights shine down on stage with a, “Thank you so much.” from Magne.
Morten’s turn to introduce the song Sox Of The Fox, of which he first heard at his old school at the age of 20. It was being played by Bridges back then. 38 years later it’s being performed live by A-ha.
As the audience on the floor were still standing, the (medieval) sound of The Living Daylights played. The whole arena started singing it too.
the band exodus from the stage and it wasn’t long until they returned for the finale of Take On Me.
With the microphone volume raised, and at least three songs with extra musical input since Giske, this was a more powerful performance than expected.
Sound and vocals were exceptional throughout this final acoustic performance. note 5/5 from me
This is Our Home, The medieval sounding ones being This Alone Is Love, Forever Not Yours & The Living Daylights. I love Scoundrel Days on record, but it is so difficult to do live vocally, so not so keen on that one . The collaboration on The Killing Moon is another favourite. Mesmerised by the music & film for Stay On These Roads too.
This is our home
I’ve been losing you
This alone is love
Forever not yours
Foot of the mountain
Stay on these roads
A break in the clouds
Over the treetops
Living a boy’s adventure tale
The Killing Moon
Summer moved on
Hunting high and low
The sun always shines on TV
Sox of the fox
The living daylights
Take on me
Buy : A-ha MTV UNPLUGGED
Thanks to Yvonne Ballard….
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