(co-written: Joshua Hanger)
Even the people who are ignorant of the far north of Norway are usually aware of the two wonders that you can find here: Northern Lights and Røyksopp. One can draw an analogy between the two: they both begin as cosmic phenomena that are hard to understand and pin down, but when they reach the Earth they turn out to be something indescribably beautiful. Just as in case of Mari Boine one does not write about the vocal skills or the general music skills of the members of Røyksopp. Their concert reminded more of an electro opera or a futuristic show than a regular gig.
Another thing that made it so amazing was the fact that the band’s roots are in Tromsø and you could get a feel of Røyksopp members, Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland, being travelers coming home after years of wandering. One of the first things Torbjørn said was that the last time they had been in Valhall was when they had to run the dreaded “Cooper Test” in videregående (high school). The audience was moved as well – a lot of people had tears in their eyes. The band played most of their hits like Happy Up Here-which sent the crowd into fits of ecstasy, and “Remind Me”-which includes the very Tromsø line of “We Stayed outside till two / waiting for the light to come back”- as well as the new numbers and accompanied them by energetic stage performance, stunning light show and crazy outfits. My favorite character was the guitarist dressed in bright green thermal underwear and a space helmet. Even the nature seemed to have felt the mood of the concert and the last few songs were accompanied by Northern Lights themselves as if they decided to greet the old Tromsø-dwellers.