Robyn, Prince and More

Didn’t we have quite the Friday night, friends of West Sweden? For us, it was the very un-Swedish confident The Hives that started it, declaring their lust for Gothenburg and comparing their stage performance to love making. In order to have dinner before Robyn, we then had to leave the area for a while. Just outside is Gothenburg’s ”second avenue”, Linnégatan, marking a pulsing vein through a great restaurant district. We stayed an hour at Kino, a Berlin-esque bar in the basement of 100 year old school building. Well worth a visit if you need a short break but still like to stay close to the action. After a cheap meal and som local brew, we simply walked back up the street for more music.

On our way to Robyn, we ran past Fleet Foxes, upgraded to a bigger stage than last time around, which was a couple of years ago. It was a nice gig, in the evening sun and a lot of people in the crowd. We did however have bigger plans, as did many of the visitors.

Robyn did not disappoint but she will have to excuse. The night’s main attraction was of course Prince, maybe the greatest soul artist of his generation, and Robyn felt more like a talented upcomer, an opening act. We really hope you went to see Prince, since his long and loving show was worth the ticket price and more. Prince is unique, a mixture of Jimi Hendrix, R. Kelly and Nina Simone in one and with a huge group of talented (strictly female!) musicians, we were in for a treat. Flowing lights and fireworks did of course impress but nothing could change the fact that he himself was the focus. A great artist, crying and preaching in a way that felt very sincere, he captivated the festival, which he by the way had more or less by himself during the gig. And the voice, oh what a voice! He was also one of the few artists in WoW-history to re-enter the stage several times, cheered on by the 30,000-something crowd.

After that show, the night had all but peaked, we thought. It was around midnight and people started to stream towards the exits in order to catch the first trams and cabs to a night club. But Explore West Sweden, wise from having missed out on James Blake, headed to Annedalskyrkan, a church within sight and walking distance from the area.

There, a personal favorite of ours, Jonathan Johansson, owned the stage. He has an air of natural coolness that contrasted very well with the sanctimonious surroundings. A foreign music lover might have noticed that he sings in ”skånska”, a dialect from southern Sweden that certainly adds dimensions to the music. He played mostly from his yet to be released new album and we were not disappointed with the trip to the church.

The night sky then brightened up beautifully as it sometimes does in August and we headed further into the night. Writing this, the sun is now up and it is time to recharge for a few hours before Saturday starts. One more thing though : we know it tends to be a lot of weather talk but that’s just the way we do it in Sweden. Since we are good people here at Explore West Sweden, we want to introduce you to an inside tip: the Norwegian weather service is the best. According to the Norwegians, we will have an awesome Saturday. The sun is here to stay and after this splendid night, what can go wrong? See you tomorrow.

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