THE NORWEGIANS – Oslo – Sentrum Scene
On a warm and sunny Saturday night in the capital city of Oslo, the insanely talented outfit known as The Norwegians performed the much-beloved and timeless music from the greatest TV series ever known to man, namely "Twin Peaks", and the David Lynch "Fire Walk With Me" 1992 motion picture in a rather intimate setting at Sentrum Scene. As many of you know, "Twin Peaks" was revolutionary and all-out innovative, which goes for the music that accompanied the series and the aforementioned movie as well. The point that I am trying to make is that while the actual series rules beyond belief, the music itself is incredibly unique and such a vital part of the series that it borders on the surreal. It perfectly illustrates and thematizes the haunting and postmodern vibe of "Twin Peaks" and all its strange conflicts and paradoxes, otherworldly terrors, love triangles, and basically everything else that makes life worth leaving. You may wonder why a gig by The Norwegians is reviewed on these pages, but the fact of the matter is that we are talking about something so dark and sublime here that goes far beyond what most metal bands are capable of evoking in terms of a mood or an atmosphere.
Everything about the whole event just felt right. There were seats for everybody and we were all somewhat close to the stage. The red drape was there in the background, the male members of the outfit were all dressed in tuxedos (think FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper), and the female vocalists wore beautiful red dresses. They were also drinking coffee on stage, which was a really cool thing to do considering how much coffee is consumed by our favorite agent in the series. The sound was excellent and the audience was polite and appreciative all the way through the show.
There is no way that I can possibly sum up or put into words just how beautiful and sinister the whole experience was. Infinitely dark, but oh so moving as well. The band had barely played more than three chords before I got the chills. It was that good. Like I said, these guys are highly talented and their skills are impressive, but what was even more mind-blowing was how authentic and damn-near perfect everything sounded. Each and every note was delivered with passion and the whole performance was charged with energy and emotion. Angelo Badalamenti’s mesmerizing and jazzy score was treated with respect and reverence. The excellent use of samples and sound collages between the songs wove every piece of the puzzle together and formed a larger whole. It was oppressive and claustrophobic at times and generally a lot to take in and absorb, but it was an experience that we will never forget. The highlights of the evening were "The Nightingale", "Into the Night", and "Laura Palmer’s Theme", but singling songs out seems kind of silly in that all of them sounded superb and played an important part in the set.
The Norwegians consist of John Lilja, Ådne Sæverud, Eva Bjerga Haugen, Ståle Birkeland, Arild Hoem, Erlend Aasland, and Vidar Schanche. Collectively, these fine human beings gifted us with a memorable night in the strange and twisted world of "Twin Peaks" where the unsettled and the unsettling roam and prosper. Pure musical bliss!