Later this week, Benny Anderssons Orkester will commence their summer tour. Not only will the show be full of fun, enthusiasm and lots of hits, but as has become customary they will also take along their own dance floor.
The 16-strong group of musicians together with vocal artists Helen Sjöholm and Tommy Körberg, have enjoyed great success in Sweden since their formation in 2001, and BAO concerts have become a summer tradition.
As the band prepare to hit the road, fiddler Kalle Moraeus says he is looking forward to long shows (usually running close to four hours) and devoted audiences.
“It’s a little bit like it was when I was a teenager and was out playing dance music. So it is lucky that I’ve done it before and know what to expect,” he told Stockholm newspaper Metro.
Kalle has recently released his second solo album and another season of his television programme Moraeus med mera (one episode features Benny and the cast of Hjälp sökes). The series will air on SVT this autumn, so for him, the BAO tour is in some ways a chance to take a rest and step back from the spotlight.
“I will devote myself to what I love most – which is to play. I come to the front of the stage for maybe two or three numbers, but that is all. Otherwise, I am just one of the gang,” he said.
The tour will premiere in Gothenburg on 18 July before moving on to Helsingborg, Kalmar, Trosa, Piteå, Sundsvall, Leksand and Stockholm, and the really dedicated fans will be at all eight venues.
“There are some Germans, Dutch and British who have seen almost every show we have done and they are always at the front. There are a bunch of Swedes too. They are amazing,” said Moraeus.
He particularly remembers one concert that BAO performed in the United States. “We did a show that was almost a private function for Swedish descendants, but the fans were at the hotel in Minneapolis too. It was very touching.”
Along with all the usual favourites, audiences at this year’s concerts are anticipating a few additions to the set list. Not only is it widely expected that BAO will perform at least one song from the musical Hjälp sökes (written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and BAO band member Lars Rudolfsson), but also, in an interview earlier this year, Benny said that he was planning to write a couple of completely new tracks for his band to play during their summer tour.