So… I’ve been to a Sunrise Avenue concert last night. Again! Well, I haven’t been in a while like… 6 months ;-) Seriously, I don’t know how these guys do it, it feels like they are constantly on tour. And only are taking a six months break from touring to record the next album. But I’m not complaining because I really, really love their music and especially their concerts. If I’ve counted it correctly the show yesterday was concert Nr. 9 for me (in four years, mind you). I should make Nr. 10 something special. I have no idea how, because they won’t be on tour for a while. Well, I give them a year max before they’re hitting the stage again.
I know some people mistake Sunrise for a rock/pop band and regarding how some of their songs sound on the albums I get how people can get that impression, that’s it just another popband with a rocky edge. But they are so not a pop band on stage. All five of them are amazingly great musicians and the set list allows everyone of them to show their talent. Only the bass player Raul keeps out of the spotlight, but honestly how much solo parts are there for a bass ;-)? The lead guitarist Riku, the drummer Sami and the tour keyboarder Osmo get their moments to shine and they don’t disappoint. They know what they are doing and they’re great at what they do. And of course the singer (and guitarist) Samu has a voice to die for. Singing, talking, whatever he does, his voice is just awesome.
Samu speaks German pretty well and it’s always fun to hear his comments and introductions in German. The show last night was at a music festival near Bochum (in the metropolitan area called Ruhrgebiet). It wasn’t technically within the city limits of Bochum, but who cares about those details. At one time he asked if there were fans of the Bochum football team in the audience. Bochum had lost the match on the night before so he hoped that this concert might help to cheer the fans up again. Towards the end of the concert he started talking about Herbert Grönemeyer, who is one of the most successful and popular German singer/songwriter of the last three decades. Well, Herbert is in the business for 30 years and he’s been succesful for almost as long. Herbert grew up in Bochum and will always be considered Bochum’s son and ambassador, even though he hasn’t lived here for probably 20 years. But back in the 80s he had written the song “Bochum” about this city, which has turned into a popular anthem not just for the people in this town and in the whole metropolitan region, but basically for every who was a teenager in the 80s and later on. Classic party music stuff.
Anyway, Samu started talking about Herbert and that he thought it would be cool to cover one of his songs at this concert in Bochum. And that his managment got him a copy of the song “Bochum”. At that point the audience started to get wild, because it would have been such a cool thing to hear Samu do this song. But right away Samu said “Oh no, no, don’t get excited, I’m not doing it!” And he continued telling the story how he sat down on his balcony with a glass of wine and this song on his headphones planning to learn the lyrics and… “and I went like WTF! I can’t learn that!” LOL.
Herbert has some complicated lyrics and his very own style of singing so I can’t blame any non-native german speaker to be unable / unwilling to learn a Herbert song by listening to it. It was still a very funny story to hear at that location. And the guys made up for not singing the “town’s anthem” when they showed up for the last two songs dressed in Bochum football jerseys.
One highlight of every Sunrise concert is the medley of various songs from other artists, in which the keyboarder and lead guitarist take turns starting to sing anything from old classic reggae ones like “No woman, no cry” to modern hits like Lady GaGa’s “Edge of Glory” and anything in between. The audience is asked to sing along as soon as they recognize the song and it’s usually a lot of fun to do. But they had chosen too many new songs this time for my taste, because I don’t know a lot of contemporary radio pop music. But it’s still always fun to watch the guys on stage having fun doing this and of course it’s a blast when they are playing a song, which you just have to belt out along with them.
When we were standing in line before the doors opened we were wondering about the amount of young people. And were feeling kind of old. I felt old again during the medley, but in a very superior way, when the young ones had no idea what song they were playing.
The song started with only the keyboard playing and the keyboarder Osmo softly singing “Mama, I just killed a man….” and then I and probably a lot of over people born prior to 1980 joined Osmo with “Put a gun against his head, pulled the trigger, now he’s dead”. Yes, of course this was the start to one of the best rock songs ever: Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Sunrise did do the whole song and they rocked it. Period! And I can’t wait for my Sunrise Avenue concert Nr. 10!