Manfred Mann's Earth Band live at grieghallen in Bergen

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper


Manfred Manns Earth Band Grieghallen Bergen.jpg


The marvelous ensemble that is the Manfred Mann's Earth Band paid the beautiful (and nearly sold out) Grieghallen in Bergen a visit earlier on tonight (October 16) and it turned out to be a hugely enjoyable and musically rewarding evening. These world-class musicians entered the stage at roughly 7 PM and launched into a superb set that brilliantly showcased just how unique their mixture of hard rock, progressive rock, pop music, rock, and subtle hints of jazz and R 'n' B is.

With a nicely varied and memorable selection of songs and a crisp sound that captured all the different shades and nuances of their style and expression, the quintet delivered their song material with class and a massive dose of confidence, and you could just tell that they were having a great time on stage together. Kicking things off with "Captain Bobby Stout" followed by "Don't Kill It Carol" was obviously a good move as they got the crowd going pretty much immediately, and it was a real treat to see and hear the band tear through playful and spirited renditions of "Stronger Than Me" and "You Angel You" (just to list a couple of examples). The classic albums "The Roaring Silence", "Watch", and "Chance" were represented by means of the catchy "For You", "Blinded by the Light", and "Davy's on the Road Again", but the highlight for yours truly was the haunting interpretation of Dylan's "Father of Day, Father of Night". "Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)" also received a rapturous response.

 The prog-like passages were long and sprawling at times, but they never lost focus or direction, and there was something truly exciting about witnessing the slightly unpredictable versions of the tunes in a live setting. The passionate and bluesy vocal delivery courtesy of Robert Hart was amazing while Mick Rogers' guitar-wizardry and Manfred Mann's clever keyboard-work blew me away. The utterly robust rhythm section consisting of drummer John Lingwood (ex- Company of Snakes) and bassist Steve Kinch was as solid as they come and sounded inspired. The acoustics were glorious, and all the instruments were clearly audible and present in the mix, but there were heaps of punch and power coursing through the performance too. In terms of flaws or downsides to the show, the solo spots were entertaining but one or two of them did interrupt the momentum and flow of the thing slightly.    As tacky as this may sound, the concert left us with a warm and cozy feeling inside, and all in all, this was a potent and muscular display of eminent musicianship and timeless compositions.

Apart from a handful of concerts by Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Stageway also have a number of other noteworthy gigs lined up in Norway in the months to come (Madrugada or Dark Side of the Wall, anyone?), so I strongly suggest that you check their website if you wish to keep tabs on what is happening on that front: http://stageway.no/konserter/  


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