Like a phoenix from the ashes, SPOT Festival finally rose up in Aarhus. One and a half years and several postponements later, Denmark’s most important platform for new music reopened its doors to industry experts and music fans alike. Once deserted Musikhuset filled up with people again, and beating drums and sonorous singing distantly echoed throughout the city from bars and venues. Sometimes, if you ignore the uncanny feeling induced by unmasked crowds, everything almost felt normal.
Music happens at concerts, at venues, in interactions between artists and the audience. Neither streaming platforms, nor online shows will ever replace the thrill of standing among other music lovers, meters away from a band on stage. We are so lucky to have been a part of the celebration of live music. SPOT 2021 reminded everyone what this industry is all about. We did our best to catch as many concerts as possible, and some were particularly exciting.
DAY 1, THURSDAY 16. SEPTEMBER 2021
Nicklas Sahl has a stage presence of an international star. His music calls back to Sting with a dash of Ed Sheeran. What a pleasure it was to hear it in the magnificent Store Sal of Musikhuset. You know the feeling when you hear an artist for the first time, but all songs sound familiar while staying fresh and surprising at the same time? That was our experience with Nicklas Sahl.
It doesn’t matter that it was raining, Fusia were taking us to an exotic, energetic journey with their joyful music and awesome dance moves! These guys are on to something. Lots of positive energy, UK indie vibe, great stage expression and catchy but not cheesy tunes. We look forward to their upcoming EP in October!
Not everyone can appreciate classical, instrumental music with violins, piano, and cello. Sometimes it’s just too beautiful and you want something messy, like the next act on this list. However, after a long night of travelling and the overwhelming feelings of suddenly being surrounded by so much action, Søren Stensby’s gorgeous concert felt like a safe haven, a peaceful refuge from all the chaos outside the Lille Sal’s doors. It was exactly what we needed, just to stop for a while and truly be in the moment.
Joyce proved that they fully deserve to be the next great Danish rock act, up there with The Minds of 99. The mix of influences, styles, emotions and moods in their live set is unique. They bring out all that’s best in rock music, and their show was a perfect ending of the first day at SPOT 2021.
DAY 2, FRIDAY 17. SEPTEMBER 2021
We started the day at the Heartbeat Management office, as Go Go Berlin were so kind to invite us to the first ever listening session of their upcoming album “Expectations”. Christian Vium, the lead singer, talked about the record in between songs, describing it as “an explosion” of them as a band. “The absence of touring really gave us the time to experiment, and that is what we did on this album,” he said. It was a lovely and cosy morning, filled with interesting conversations and delicious Danish pastries.
At the W.A.S Entertainment showcase, the pop-rock duo lil cat charged our batteries like no other. A cool mix of the ’80s vibe, rock edge and extremely charismatic lead singer’s energy guarantee an amazing live music experience. Sometimes a band doesn’t seem particularly outstanding on a record, but they take you for an absolute ride at a concert. lil cat are that band.
The magic of Astrid Cordes’s voice and music made a rainy day concert outside into a wonderful and deeply intimate experience.
Tomas Høffding’s rooftop concert brought the best from his solo album “Ild, Drømme, Frihed og Fred” to life. It was cosy, it was intimate, it was low key and fun. He delivered in the most professional, yet chilled out way. Hygge time at SPOT 2021 indeed!
GRO showed a more edgy and mysterious side of her music at SPOT. At the same time, she played fragile, vibrant melodies and flew on top of them with her vocals, like on a magic carpet.
Gemini Inc. gave an emotional performance, with elements of theatre and spoken word. Something different!
PRISMA got some well-deserved recognition and immense interest at SPOT. It was so great to hear music with an edge and original thought behind it!
There were a few acts at this year’s festival that already have the stage presence of big international acts, even though they are quite new. Dopha was one of them, proving that she could be the next best big thing coming out of Denmark.
Baby In Vain
They are young in age, but Baby In Vain might be one of the most classic rock, old-school playing bands at this year’s festival. Rock isn’t dead, guys!
VOLA proved that they are a BAND in capital letters. A real pleasure to attend a real metal concert that’s powerful, but also very emotional and delivered perfectly to the last detail.
GRETA created a lovely, airy, dreamy atmosphere with her music live as she does on the debut album “Ardent Spring”. Besides, he added an upbeat, joyful twist to the songs. Great SPOT experience to see her live! The song with a Kraftwerk industrial vibe made us jump and go wild as if the pandemic never happened.
There was no better way to end SPOT 2021 than at a Blaue Blume concert in Musikhuset’s Store Sal. Their music pierces your heart, takes you to other dimensions, and makes you forget about everything else. A long-standing ovation has never been more appropriate.
Mange tak, SPOT Festival, for having us and giving us an unforgettable time. It’s been a pleasure to be back in Aarhus and experience live music again! Same time, same place next year?