Kvelertak – Sentrum Scene, 11.03.16

On the same day Kvelertak released their newest single “1985” (on digital platforms) is also the very evening for their sold out show at Sentrum Scene in Oslo.

I got there just in time to see Kosmik Boogie Tribe (KBT), but the only one who was doing the boogie were the bass-player. I was not impressed by them at all. Not that I expected boogie, but I did expect it to be good. This was average and nothing special. However KBT do have a really talented guitarist, who sang better than the vocalist.

© Else Solheim (phone image)
© Else Solheim (phone image)

Finally it is time for Kvelertak. I think this will be the seventh time I see them live (and I am not counting the little appearance they did last week at the Urørt finale). This is also the first time, in a long while I’ve been so close to the stage. I like admiring Kvelertak from a far. Now, lets see the action up front for once.

There is a large white curtain covering the stage. We can see the stage light hitting the members of Kvelertak just right, so that their shadows appear on the curtain. The audience is screaming and cheering while we can hear them play. The curtain falls, and there we have them – Kvelertak, one of Norway’s greatest metal bands. Vocalist Erlend Hjelvik is wearing a owl-mask that glows around the eyes and has a green light on the forehead. Do Owls have foreheads? This one does, and it’s glowing green!

Already on the second number they play their newest single “1985” which will be on their upcoming album “Nattesferd”. I am used to confetti hitting the audience at the end of a show, here, we have confetti during the second number, and the audience is loving it. I love it too so I have to take a picture with my phone. I got stopped by a guard who told me not to take any photos. There is a guy right next to me doing the same thing, but the guard did not stop him. My phone has a really bad camera, and I was not the only one taking photos. Hundreds of people were taking photos with their phones. The guy next to me is caucasian, while I am half asian. The security-guard did not stop any of the caucasian ones, but he did stop me. Thats all I am saying. My annoyance with the gards did not end there unfortunately.

Kvelertak played songs that made the audience go wild. “Bruane Brenn”, “Offernatt” and “Blodtørst” to name a few. The highlights were of course “Mjød” and “Fossegrim”. But what I have been waiting for – and maybe Kvelertak as well – is to see how the audience react on the new material. On one of the new songs the light hit Kvelertaks new stage-banner, that has the cover of the upcoming album on it. The way the light was shining on the banner, gave us a sign that now Kvelertak is playing some new material. The audience, not sure if they were drunk or high, but they reacted the same way to the new material just like they did to the old ones. A little bit of moshpit and a whole lot of crowd-surfing. With all this commotion, I promise you the venue is hot. Steamy hot.

The guards at Sentrum Scene were not happy about the crowd-surfing. I get why it is banned from shows – people could get hurt. But I think the crowd-surfers got more hurt by the guards than the actual surf. Even by-standers got hurt by the guards of how brutally they treated the surfers. Once the surfers got over to the pit, they were dragged by the guards then shoved with force on to the audience – the audience who weren’t even crowd-surfing, but just standing there enjoying the show. Yes, it is a brutal taste in music, but it does not give the guards right to treat the audience with brutality. One guard shoved a guy so hard, that the guy hit a girl and she screamed. Not sure if she screamed of hurt, or by shock. I was shocked. If crowd-surfing really is not allowed at Sentrum Scene, then the guards should just quietly escort the rule-breakers outside of the venue. NOT use force! Violence is never the answer – I learned that in pre-school.. (yes, I am failing at being funny). Ironically, some members of Kvelertak did stage-dive and crowd-surfed, no sign of brutality from the guards there..

While trying to enjoy the show (and watching brutal security guards at Sentrum Scene), I was also harassed by some random fat dude. At the start of the show he stod far behind me. But during the show he moved closer. So close that his fat tummy kept on pressing against my back. He also touched my ass. For most of the time I pressed myself on the girl in front of me. I’d rather have girl-on-girl-action than his fat ass. But he kept on getting closer. I got annoyed, saw my friend, and I went away from there. So sorry, to the random girl I pressed against – but my boobs on your back is better than his fat-uncomfortable-tummy on mine.

Despite random fat dude and a racist-brutal guard, the show was actually quite good. Kvelertak does not interact with the audience during the show, but they do give us a lot of owls to look at. Not only did Hjelvik place the owl-mask on his face again, (you know, the owl with glowy eyes and the green-lighting-forehead), but there were two strategically placed owls on amplifiers on each side of the stage. When the red-orange light hit the owls from the right angle it looked like their eyes were glowing as well.

I am impressed by how good Bjarte Rolland and Maciek Ofstad play guitars and do back-up vocals. Kvelertak has so much talent, I get why they do so good overseas and not just selling out shows in Norway. This is one of the greatest shows they have ever played. Some trouble with the sound, but I blame the sound-guy for that. Kvelertak had so much energy and gave the show it all. Good music, confetti and lots of pyro. When the show was over they interacted with the audience – by shaking hands and giving out guitar-plectrums, I also saw setlists being given away. The new songs are really good from what I could hear. I’m getting a Kiss-Motörhead-Maiden-wibe from the new stuff, and I can’t wait for “Nattesferd” to be released.

At the end of the show Hjelvik waved a huge flag with the letter K on it. It was surely a sign that they triumphed over Sentrum Scene this evening.

I would have given you more bad-cellphone-photos. Especially of the owl-mask. But the guard told me not to take photos, and I respect the rules.

See photos from the Urørt Finale 2016