Svavar Knútur / The Rocketboys – Horns Erben, Leipzig; September 23rd, 2017
After too little sleep in Berlin it was onwards to Leipzig for me the next day. Sunny weather and a comfy bed greeted me, so I took the opportunity to sleep a bit and felt much better soon. There wasn’t all that much time left to explore before going to the venue, but that was OK – it’s not like I’ve never been to Leipzig. I’d heard that Svavar has a big following there, similar to Berlin and as expected the place was packed. He also said he knew pretty much everyone in the room. The atmosphere was great, people greeted him and The Rocketboys warmly, were very supportive throughout. It was the perfect place for a great gig.
Had arrived early, was invited to a table by the only other guests at that time and tried to explain to them what they could expect from the concert. They told me they didn’t speak English so well so I hoped they would enjoy it anyway. The venue was upstairs and only opened shortly before the concert started. Until then we were at the bar, enjoying an interesting selection of drinks. Their home made lemonade was amazing! 🙂 Anyway, upstairs there were seats, but too far from the stage or too far off to the side for me so I chose to sit on the floor right in front of the stage instead. Many others did the same until someone told us to get up so we’d could get more people in. We did, but a few of us sat down again later, because we did not want to block everyone’s view. Sitting down was nice. Getting back up after the gig not so much, but that is a different story…
The second time around I liked The Rocketboys much better. They seemed more relaxed than the previous day and it had a positive effect on their playing. I remembered some of the songs too, which meant I could even sing along a little bit. 🙂 The audience was very welcoming, which lead to more interactions with them an a nice sing-along in the end. Finally I understood why Svavar loves them so much that he wanted to bring them along on this tour. They are really good, the music is beautiful and at least one song is already stuck in my head. I was happy to have them and already looking forward to seeing them again in the coming week. 🙂
Again, there was not much of a break between their set and Svavar’s. He asked us to clap for them again and joked about not needing any introduction because he knew almost everyone in the room. There was a piano on stage and he decided to use it for ‘Goodbye my Lovely’. It was an unexpected change to the familiar song that I really liked. Hearing Svavar play piano is a rare treat. In the audience, someone was carrying a broccoli and Svavar referred to him as “Broccoli Gandalf”. 😀 He joked a lot that night, covering everything from beer to music keeping you healthy. The latter of course being a good reason to sing along. As if we needed a reason to do that. 😉
I cannot quite remember how he got to Nick Cave but it had something to do with creating eternal energy. I do remember that I laughed really hard about. 😀 Eventually that lead to playing ‘Nick Cave’s Happy Song’ for us. He felt that was needed, because Nick has so many sad and melancholic songs, but claimed that he never received an answer to his emails. The song itself was hilarious, despite the rather dark story. In the end it even explained why it is happy. I can never decide if I like Svavar’s funny or his melancholic songs better. They are each brilliant in their own way and he does them like nobody else. Slow writer or not, the songs he does write are amazing and I’ll take quality over quantity here.
Right after the show I had the feeling there were not as many jokes and stories as usual that night, probably because Svavar said he was not going to do so many. Thinking back though, there were quite a few or more details on the ones I had already heard. The story about his first love never gets old. I can see it like a movie in my head when he tells it too. 🙂 ‘Wanderlust’ made me smile that night, because it reminded me of how much I love traveling and I love singing along to it. The combination “Weltschmerz, Waldeinsamkeit and Wanderlust” is pretty much irresistible.
He told us he was a little stressed out, but we made him feel better and wanted to know if we had any requests. People asked for the usual suspects ‘While the world burns’ and ‘Clementine’. I added ‘Ease your mind’ and he actually played it. It was completely unexpected and it made me very happy. I’m not sure I ever heard him play that one and I’ve grown quite fond of it lately. <3 Of course he played the other two as well. 😀 Somewhere along the lines he did very slow and really fast versions of a few songs, just to show how they would sound sped up or slowed down. 😀 He also mentioned the fabulous animated video for ‘Brot’ that is on youTube. Yes, we should all go and watch it!
The main set ended with ‘Girl from Vancouver’ and another great sing-along. 🙂 The levels of cheers were deafening and moments later he was back on stage for ‘Here comes the hurting’. That song is getting better every time I hear it. 🙂 Earlier someone had requested ‘Leipzig’ and ‘Song of good advice’ and got to hear he’d have to settle for one of the two. Leipzig it was, then and what a great version of it. It turned into a medley, including ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and ‘Living on a Prayer’ among others, all sung the same style. It was hilarious! Finally, he called The Rocketboys to the stage and they performed ‘The Best’ together. <3
After the concert I met my table mates from the beginning of the evening and they told me they’d liked the songs, despite not understanding all that much. They wanted to check out more. I sure was happy to hear that. 🙂 Went back upstairs, chatted for a while, bought the only Svavar album I don’t own and both of The Rocketboys’ CDs. Told them they were much more energetic that night and they also felt this concert had been much better with a more receptive audience. Many people stayed for drinks, but I didn’t like the fact that people were allowed to smoke at the bar after 10 pm, so I left. It had been a good night. The next day I was homeward bound.
Goodbye my Lovely
Ease your Mind
While the World burns
Happy Song for Nick Cave
Girl from Vancouver
Here comes the hurting
The Best (The Rocketboys)