Shadows, drums and stories

The Anatomy of Frank – Galleri Stense, Stockholm; October 2nd 2016

When The Anatomy of Frank announced their tourdates I remember being happy that I could at least attend two of the concerts and was not going to have to skip all of them. When I looked again much later, I suddenly realized that I was up north (i.e. Finland) on the day of the Stockholm gig and could easily go there so I immediately booked the trip. Already knew I was going the last time I saw Kyle with Svavar Knútur, but decided to keep it a surprise. And it was. When I arrived at the venue, still searching, not sure where it was, I suddenly found myself face to face with Kyle who was on the other side of a large window to the room they were playing in. The look on his face was just priceless! 😀 Turns out the guys were still sound checking, but everyone was fine with me hanging out so I sat down chatted with the concert organizer and the people from the gallery where the event took place, while listening to the music drifting out of the other room. Beautiful! I had been on the road since early morning to get there and felt quite tired even after a nap at my hostel. Yet I would not have wanted to miss this concert – it was totally worth the trip!

The gallery they played at was tiny and the room they played in had to be cleared of all furniture first, but this intimate setting with the audience sitting on the floor worked to the band’s advantage. It felt like having them play in my living room. 🙂 Everyone huddled close together, there were maybe 30 of us. Except for the organizer and me, nobody had ever seen the band before, but everyone was into it, listening intently. Compared to Kyle’s solo shows this was a lot more powerful. I loved the mixture of instruments, especially the drums (since I had only seen them perform acoustically until now) as well as the harmony singing. They just sounded great. 🙂

Playing in an empty and high room lead to lot of reverb during soundcheck, but it got much better once the audience was there. A few of the gallery’s lights were strategically turned to illuminate the band, casting tall shadows on the wall. I had quite some fun watching those shadows move, trying to capture them in my pictures. Mostly I enjoyed the concert though and let the camera rest. The often delicate music deserves being listened to without distractions. Everyone in the audience seemed to understand that, allowing the band to fill the room with images made of sounds.

Since the setlist was different from Kyle’s shows and they didn’t announce many of the songs I only have a vague recollection of what they were playing in which order. Strangely enough I was able to sing along to most of the songs, even though I could not recall their names. Only after the gig, listening to their albums I reconstructed what we might have heard. 😉 Anyway, it was lovely and painted a big smile on my face from the start. Seeing and listening to them really makes me happy. The guys give out such positive vibes that they instantly spread through any room they inhabit, making random strangers feel like they are all part of something beautiful that’s bigger than themselves. It does not always work, but when it does, everyone in the room feels it and you can read it on their faces. 🙂

These were good listeners, paying full attention, allowing the music to take them over and singing along when Kyle asked us too. I personally think at least I sounded horrible when he had us sing out part alone, but when we did it together it worked nicely and made me feel like I belonged. We got to hear a few stories too, most notably one about Kyle’s travel’s to Ecuador and Giovanni the bodyguard who still hates him. 😀 One new song was in there as well or at least one I don’t recall hearing before. I loved it, I would not have wanted to be anywhere else and the only complaint I have is that it was over too quickly. Time just moves too fast when you’re having a good time and an hour feels like mere minutes.

Some people stayed afterwards, chatted, bought CDs. It turned out that most of the audience were not from Sweden and some had interesting stories to share. I ended up outside with a woman from the US, one from the Netherlands, a guy from France, one from India and Kyle chatting about life in the north, Northern lights, Nordic summers and the differences between and quirks of people from the Nordic countries. It was perfect. Once the others left, the guys were packing and I said goodbye, grabbing a few hours of sleep before going home in the morning.

Setlist (as I recall, but with no guarantee)

Saturday Morning
Diagonal North America
Photographs of Inuvik in January
Bill Murray
A Bridge over Lake Champlain
Minnesota Part I
Katja’s Song
La Llorona

pictures of this concert

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