Ten years ago me and my sister went to the Roskilde Festival for the first time. We were gonna see Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers and our new Swedish favourites Mando Diao. Long story short, it did not happen for us. But now ten years later I finally saw Mando Diao. I am sitting here with a surreal feeling: did I really just experienced that?
Mando Diao are one of the acts playing at John Dee’s 20th anniversary. One of Oslos more intimate stages. If you have ever seen Mando Diao at a festival, or just the clip from this years Southside Festival, you would think that the stage just might be a wee bit tiny.
The intro comes on and I get goosebumps. This is really happening. Starting their set with “San Fransisco Bay” you could see that there are not used playing such an intimate setting. It was weird at first, but they manage to work it out, and it became one of the most amazing concerts that I have ever experienced.
This was the premiere of their Scandinavian tour: a sold out show in one of Oslos most iconic venues. It was packed, sweaty, and a whole lot of fun. I can’t remember the last time I dances so hard. This is their first show in Norway since the release of their latest album “Good Times”, and of course the setlist is packed with new songs that have already become favourites of the Norwegian audience. Mando Diao played the title track (of course), “Dancing All The Way To Hell”, “One Two Three”, “Watch Me Now” and “Break Us”. The ones who have paid attention have probably noticed that Gustaf Norén is not playing with Mando Diao anymore. Is the song “Break Us” about not letting what happened not break the band, or not break the friendship? Either way, it is a powerful statement and even more powerful live.
There is no such thing as a perfect album. “Good Times” has a couple of songs that I don’t like. One of them are “Voices On The Radio”. However, experiencing that song live proved me wrong. I even sang along! Everything is different live. And on this occasion: for the better.
Mando Diao did not only play new hits, but also old ones like “Down In The Past”, “You Got Nothing On Me”, and “Mr.Moon” which was my personal highlight. My feet kept on dancing all the way to “Gloria”. With some slow breaks with “Strövtåg i hembygden”. During the whole set the band kept on communicating with the audience. Making us clap, stomp our feet and even shake out heads. It was fun being Mando Diao’s puppets for a little while. I did not mind shouting, singing along, stomping my feet or shaking my head for that matter.
They started the encore with “Child”, which in my opinion is a dull song to start an encore with. They should have started with “Shake” which was the next song they played. Then it would have started with a party. A dance. But with “Child” the audience just stood there. But during “Shake” we did what the song title says. The sweat kept on running down my back, and face, and I did not care. Mando Diao ended the set with probably their most known hit “Dance With Somebody”. I can’t describe it. But I will let Mando Diao show you how the concert ended at John Dee.
Ten years later…It’s been a long time coming Mando Diao. I will not let it go ten years more until the next time I see you.