I'm back from my weekend trip to Kopervikfestivalen, where I was going to see a triple concert with Stage Dolls, Morten Abel and Dio. And I can report that I've experienced the 80's: There where a lot of big bleached hair (men), mullets (women) ripped snow-washed jeans and general 80's fashion. The 80's never left Karmøy, it seems. Yeah!
Hitting the stage an hour late due to technical problems, Stages Dolls were forced to cut their set short. They started out with Love Don't Bother me which the crowd recognized instantly. Actually, I was surprised that I recognized several of the Stage Dolls tunes. Anyway, they still haven't corrected all the technical problems, because the vocals were mixed way back. It got better two or three songs into the act, but I wasn't impressed with the song provided to Stage Dolls. The guitar tone was also a bit thin. Since the Les Paul/ Marshall stack should provide a think and classic rock tone, I blame it on the sound system. Still, Stage Dolls were a surprisingly good live act and delivered a great string of songs and got the audience going. Good job.
A last minute replacement for Europe. Next time I'm bringing a shovel, 'cause this was a load of crap. I mean, the dude had everything going for him: There was a sudden boom in ticket sales when Abel was added, so obviously he had fans that came just to see him. Regardless what you think of him, he has a back catalogue of (Norwegian) hits neither of the other artists had. He was on his home turf; from way back to Mods, September When, Pelz and up to his solo-career, Morten Abel has been a dear and household name in the Stavanger/ west-coast area, especially the more rural parts. He is a professional who's been in the game most of his life and must have done thousands of live gigs. But still he sucked big time: He seemed bored and uninspired, didn't get the audience going (even if Stage Dolls did a great warm up job), both his and the female backup singers vocals were weak and off key, the band wasn't very tight and he had some canned music (horn section, sound effects, etc). Can't think of a single great thing to say about his act, it was just plain boring and it seems that almost everybody at the festival just waited for his set to finish (apart from dozen or so hardcore fans at the right side of the stage). Next!
Mr. Dio came on a bit late, and went straight into Holy Diver (and thus completed playing through my very short list of Dio songs I've heard). But the show was still great: Now the huge sound system delivered clear vocals, guitar up front, thumbing bass and great drum sound. Why couldn't they provide this to the other acts as well (wouldn't do much good for Morten Abel, but Stage Dolls deserved better). The band was tight, some good guitar solos, but I have to admit: The genre mr. Dio operates in, is not my cup of tea. He was a great performer, had a good band, but I still didn't get my mush pit going. But the audience seems to get in on it, and it was pretty obvious that Dio was the guy people came to see. He didn't disappoint them!