My very best concert-buddy got me into this one by buying me the ticket. Even if I already loved Obel's album, I was reluctant to go to a "quiet" and almost classical concert like this. But there is a first time for everything, quiet seated music and a visit to DR's Koncerthus, which I think should be demolished as a brutal statement to the rip-off of the taxpayers. It also gave me a great possibility of flaunting my "Få det ud af verden" anti-DR t-shirt. But still it is a beautifully looking building and the sound is excellent in the concert hall, I can't deny that. Just a shame beers aren't allowed inside the music hall. Makes you feel like a bloody Swede out there.
I'll skip the support singer/guitarist John Bramwell (of "I Am Kloot") as I think it kinda sucked in a boring way, so let's get back to the main act: Agnes Obel.
Agnes played this gig only accompanied by cellist (co-vocalist and a few other instruments) Anne Müller. Both did a great job in recreating what is truly one of the greatest and most interesting debut albums in a very long while on the danish music scene: Philharmonics.
Agnes' voice sounds not far from Kate Bush at times and she can really deliver a stunning vocal live. Some of the songs were performed differently from their album versions, especially Brother Sparrow and Riverside. I think I prefer the album versions, but it is never-the-less a good thing to be able to experiment and challenge the tunes a bit live.
On Powdered Ground was awesome and really showed the skills of Anne Müller on the cello and the song had a very "noisy" ending sequence that made it sound very different from the rest of the set. I really liked the way this song was performed and I think they should try to follow this path a bit more. It really woke up the concert hall.
We got a pair of new songs, brilliantly entitled: New Melody and New Song. We also got the non-album track Smoke and Mirrors. The girls sounded like a pair of shy teenagers in between the songs talking weird shit to each other that you'd have to be a connected teenage girl to understand half of. It didn't really matter though, as it was quite charming. It will probably improve when they get more experience.
Personally I am a rock dude and I don't think I'll ever be completely comfortable being seated at a "quiet" concert like this, but I am happy I got to see this gig and I think it was a good performance even if some things could be tightened and improved. It was great to hear a fantastic album come to life on stage and it is a relief to know that some people still prefer real musicians over bloody karaoke tv stars. Agnes Obel deserves all the success she is currently enjoying.
If Agnes wants to know just what it takes to kick it up that extra notch? Take a look at Amanda Palmer. Not the same style at all, I know. But a girl behind a piano still. For most of the time at least. When I first heard Mrs. O the world simply stopped (it still stops every time I hear it.) Some of the songs on Philharmonics are good enough to make that happen. Now, make it happen! Agnes in wonderland.