Photo by Mia Vestergaard Andersen
VoxHall was not crammed with people this Thursday night, but we were all there for one simple reason: To see the band we had not seen live for quite some time. Blue Foundation does not tour that often, but when they dropped by VoxHall there was an eager crowd waiting for them to do their magic.
Tobias Wilner and Bo Rande calmly entered the stage with a male drummer and a female guitarist and vocalist. Visuals of birds flying in the sky appeared in the background and wavy electro sounds came crawling down the walls. The magic had already begun.
After a very instrumental start came “Dreams On Fire” from their new album Blood Moon, played in blue and red lights flowing from video visuals to spotlight.
Moving on, Bo Rande impressed with blazing trumpet melodies in a very different version of the song “Stuck In A Hard Place”. It was more instrumental but also rhythmically slower than the original, but it only gave the audience time to reminisce the parts of the song that they knew and enjoy the new added live features.
The crowd was slowly becoming more alive by hearing the songs they knew – well played by Blue Foundation to make us warm bit by bit with known tracks that faded into new songs and mixes of the known ones.
During some of the new songs, Tobias Wilner let go of the spotlight setup, only to sing with the visuals pointing directly at him, creating a shadow of himself on the screen behind him (see the picture below). I liked the way he likes to experiment with how he is setting the atmosphere during each track, moving away from the traditional spotlight arrangement into more experimental setups.
Photo by Mia Vestergaard Andersen
With an older track, “Bonfires”, the American female artist Sonya Kitchell from New York took over and sang with her soft and airy voice, calmly and quietly, while people were swaying from side to side only broken up by Bo Rande’s trumpet in the final parts of the song. Sonya also owned the stage when she sang the very emotional and touching “My Day” from the 2004 album Sweep Of Days.
One of the guys said that he was quite happy that he just got invited to Sonya’s wedding. “Her boyfriend just asked her to marry him!”, and she continued: “Well, yes… I’m getting married!”, waving her engagement ring, “and I guess this is my engagement party”. Then came applauds and cheers from the audience before the band played another song that I have to admit I didn’t know. I took note of the very hard drums in the track only bridging perfectly to a drum solo that had the other artists leaving the stage.
I was still missing a couple of my favorite Blue Foundation tracks when they left the stage, but, luckily, the crowd cheered them back in and they acknowledged the applaud by letting us know they were truly happy to be back in Aarhus.
“Eyes On Fire” kicked off the final performance and this with a very nice electronic vibe and rock guitar. Everybody nodded to the rhythm and I thought: “ Yes! This is the peak of the party”.
I actually expected them to give us “Save This Town”, “End Of The Day” and “Enemy”, but I’m also aware that time is limited for a band with such a huge repertoire and who also wants to play some new shit. Instead, they left us with a slow instrumental and electronic track with Tobias Wilner on vocals. Likeable finish, but I expected them to leave with a huge blow-up instead.
The overall concert was very balanced in terms of vocal performances and instrumental features. Nicely done! However, some of the passages mixing el guitar, drums and electro could seem a bit messy and noisy sometimes.
I have to give them credit for their visuals as well as they were perfectly suited to every single track, and changed from blue skies, to dancing women and bright red splashes in graphic. Still, I got what I’d expected – a unique and dreamy performance in a blue and purple setting with the right crowd appreciating every bit of it.
Blue Foundation delivered as promised; something old, something new and something magical. A few points of critique, but still a unique performance with an appreciating crowd. (4.5/6)