Benny Andersson and his band are off and running
Thursday evening in Gothenburg, saw the 2013 BAO Summer Tour get underway, and with it comes the chance to assess the changes to the setlist and to see whether this year’s tour is as rapturously received as all previous ones have been.
The Gothenburg Post was certainly impressed, prompting the reviewer Joanna Wahlsten to wonder what will happen to this incredible tradition of wonderful music in beautiful locations when she grows old. ‘Will it carry on?’ she wonders.
She wrote: “Joy is what is expressed from the stage – and from the audience. There is a pause of about seven seconds, maybe ten before the first couple is up on the dance floor set below the stage.
“From that moment on, the dance floor remains occupied throughout the night, which incidentally, was so perfectly bathed in summer light [on Thursday], that I began to think that summer prevails wherever Benny Andersson and his orchestra goes.
“This is a group of musicians who know what they are doing. The question is not really whether it is good or not good. Of course it is good! But it’s the setting that makes the enjoyment factor skyrocket.
“In addition to the beautiful weather we are dealing with a friendly, happy audience, a familiar atmosphere (it all begins with a birthday song sung by orchestra and audience for Kalle Moraeus, who turned 50 last Monday) – and a well-nigh perfect purely logistical solution: letting people bring along deckchairs and picnic baskets to a park in the middle of town to listen to music.
“It is a completely brilliant idea. This obvious fact hit me with such force that I suddenly feel a pang of anxiety that this brilliant tradition may disappear somewhere down the line.”
She gave the concert a score of four out of five stars.
For those interested in the setlist, the most striking additions were the inclusion of ABBA’s One Man, One Woman (performed as a duet between Tommy Körberg and Helen Sjöholm) and two songs from Benny and Björn’s latest stage collaboration Hjälp sökes, namely Svarta Silhuetter and Bortom sol och mane.
Also new are Sit Tight, a version of the instrumental Lauren with new lyrics that Björn has written, a new Benny and Björn number Det föll en sten från mitt hjärta and the inclusion of Stig Anderson’s Tivedshambo (which ABBA recorded as a video tribute back in 1986).
In a nice cross reference to the latest addition to the ABBA catalogue, BAO perform the track Jag är blott en man, written by Björn, Benny and Stig – and which can also be found on the forthcoming Ring Ring Deluxe Edition album as recorded by Jarl Kulle. (It became I Am Just A Girl when recorded by ABBA.)
Saknadens rum is also included in the tracks played at Gothenburg.
Anyone who has seen more than one performance of BAO on tour knows that the new additions to the setlist are subject to change based on audience reaction. In that sense, Göteborg was the place to be to see the entire setlist tried out…let’s hope the new songs last the tour’s duration.
BAO favourites such as the opening number Glasgow Boogie, Jehu, Sommaren du fick, Monas vals, Jag hör, Why Did It Have To Be Me?, Cadillac, Bonder söker fru, Kisses Of Fire, Badinerie, Hasta Mañana are all intact and in evidence on the 2013 tour during the 3½ hour+ shows.