LIVE REVIEW: a-ha

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE: The O2

WHEN: 26/3, tour runs to 7/5

SETLIST: I’ve Been Losing You; Cry Wolf; Move To Memphis; Stay On These Roads; The Swing Of Things; Cast In Steel; Crying In The Rain; Mother Nature Goes To Heaven; We’re Looking For The Whales; Velvet; Lifelines; Here I Stand & Face The Rain; Sycamore Leaves; She’s Humming A Tune;  Foot Of the Mountain; Hunting High and Low; Scoundrel Days; Sun Always Shines On TV; Under The MakeUp; Living Daylights; Take On Me.

We last saw a-ha six years ago on their farewell tour at Wembley Arena but in 2015 they released their fine new Cast In Steel album which they’ve taken on an international jaunt.

The setlist (above) reads almost like a greatest hits tour but what separates the ‘Ha from many of their contemporaries is that they’ve continued to make music which sits with the best of their material.

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Back in the 80s when the Norwegian trio shot to fame it was easy to be dazzled by their chiselled looks and  immediate pop hooks. But fans who’ve delved deeper into the band’s albums will know they are very much a precursor for anthemic bands of now like Coldplay.

Tonight the band’s curious live dynamic is once again evident as frontman Morten Harket is predominantly aloof, rarely interacting with the audience (although there is a charming moment when he encourages the crowd to sing an acapella Hunting High and Low). Instead it is keyboardist Mags Furuholmen who makes a dashing master of ceremonies conducting his own singalong to The Living Daylights.

Harket doesn’t look a great deal different from the band’s heyday 30-or-so years ago and is still hitting the high notes, as is his band. Let’s hope it doesn’t take six years before they’re back playing in London again.

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  • Main picture via Facebook courtesy a-ha. Tickets here.
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

2 comments

  1. graelwyn · March 27, 2016

    Was just at this concert myself. I think Morten is probably just more of an introspective and introverted sort of person and not given to engaging large numbers of people with more than his music. That I can understand. I enjoyed the music. Think the sound quality of the venue was a bit off on this occasion and had noticed it during the support act too. It would be nice to see them in some smaller venues where one didn’t get so distracted by the heaving mass of people who seemed more interested in downing multiple beers than actually engaging with the music.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mrmonstagigz · March 27, 2016

    Delighted for them that The 02 was so full but agree it would be lovely to see them doing a much smaller, perhaps acoustic, tour. What continues to impress is what accomplished musicians they are.

    Like

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