On september 17th 2008 I had a brand new experience when it comes to concerts. I was at Bluegrass Night at Rockefeller in Oslo. It wasn’t actually until after I’ve bought the ticket that I realized it was a full night with several bands. I thought I was buying a ticket to see The Lovell Sisters (which I also did of course), but there was so much more. I must admit I was a bit sceptical though, I didn’t think thiswas a concert for me, bluegrass being country-ish and all, but boy was I wrong..

The line-up was (probably not in the correct order of playing):

Doors opened at 20:00, at which I was standing in line around the corner, but it wasn’t long until I was safely inside, got myself a beer, and went over to the stage. I prefer being at the very front, so I get a chance to experience the musicians actually playing. Their music I can hear anywhere. Anyway, as announced by the organizers, it didn’t take long before the first band entered the stage. I think the time was around 20:30, maybe even a little earlier (excuse my bad memory due to the delay before I wrote this..).

First band up was Lucky Lips, a norwegian group consisting of three girls and four guys. It might just be that these was my very first live bluegrass experience, but I liked this band the most, and I keep returning to their three songs that play on repeat on their homepage! Go listen to them! They sounded very happy, and they seemed to enjoy playing alot. It was a pure pleasure to both watch and hear. Rumours has it they’re playing again on october 5th in Oslo (Parkteateret), so if you have the chance, you really should check them out! I know I will!

Second band (at least on my list above) was Holstein United Bluegrass Boys, also norwegian. These were also very good, but sadly I can’t say that they got stuck in my head.

Third band, Ila Auto, are actually already kinda famous. Well, I had never heard of them before, but they won the norwegian Spellemannsprisen in 2006 in the country-genre. They were full of life on stage, and played some great songs, including “Little Honey” which is, so far, the one song by them that got stuck in my head. Give it a try:

Nice, huh? :)

Fourth, Elwood Caine, Norway. After they had played, I saw the singer (and banjo-player if I’m not mistaken) down with the rest of the audience, listening to the rest of the bands, which was quite cool. I guess it shows a down-to-earth attitude which I like (and that you’ll hear more of further down). They played some great songs as well of course.

Fifth we had the swedish G2 Bluegrass Band. They told us that G2 was short for Generation 2, which would imply that their parents also are/were musicians, so I guess their background is inspiring enough! For some reason, the singer in this band had a voice that I associated with boy-bands. I don’t particularly like boy-bands, so it was somewhat of a disappointment really, because they sounded really great otherwise.

The sixth and final band, and I guess the headliner of the bluegrass night, was The Lovell Sisters from USA. During the getting-ready phase, which all of these bands more or less did on their own, which was very cool, Rebecca was kneeling right in front of me, hooking up some cables or whatever, and she looked me straight in the eyes and said “Hello!”. I got kinda baffled, so I never got off any reply before she hurried off to fix something else, but it was still fun :D. So if you ever read this, Rebecca, hello back! Being the headliner of the night, the expectations were somewhat high, specially after all the great music I had heard for the past hours. They didn’t have a banjo in their band, so the sound overall was a bit different than the rest. Still good though, they got off lots of very nice songs, vocals with lots of energy and happiness. After the concert, they came down to talk to the fans and sign stuff, very cool! All artists should do that, it makes them more.. loveable. :-)

“Blood is thicker” by The Lovell Sisters.

All in all, this bluegrass night was a very different experience, but a great one. The concert ended at around midnight, so there was almost four hours of non-stop bluegrass. This is one of the very few concerts I’ve gone to with no expectations what-so-ever, and ending up wishing there was more concerts like this, preferably every week.. I’ve become a bluegrass fan.