Egil Olsen’s clear, high-pitched voice and the soft tunes of his guitar perfectly match with the location.
By Milena Virchow
Volda’s Church is arranged for a special event this evening. Candles illuminate the interior in soft orange colours, and give a stunning atmosphere for today’s Egil Olsen concert. People of various ages sit in the pews; nobody talks, because the walls echo the smallest noise throughout the hall.
When Olsen steps in front of his audience the concert almost seems like a formal occasion. However, the 31-year old Marit Larsen support act proves that even an impressive church hall can be filled with intimate vibes. His clear, high-pitched voice and the soft tunes of his guitar perfectly match with the location.
Most of the singer-songwriter’s lyrics tell little stories about every-day life – especially its sadder parts (“Every song I make is turning blue, I don’t want to write them, but I do”). Other songs try to find a balance between ironic poetry and pieces of life wisdom (“The heart is what we need the most”). Unfortunately, this often results in declamatory and simply-stricken lyrics that cause – perceived in collective – boredom. Also, a strong similarity between the mostly slow songs limits the variability of Olsen’s show. Not even background singers, the infrequent use of various instruments or a “Queen”-cover (“Don’t stop me know”) can bring more diversification to his show.
What improves the entertaining value of his concert, however, is his self-ironic, even sarcastic character. Never did I wish to understand Norwegian as much as this evening. The audience continuously breaks out in laughter when Olsen fills the pauses between his songs. Little anecdotes and jokes create a casual atmosphere: People amuse themselves, clap their hands and sing along with the artist (“yeah, yeah, yeah, I think I love you”).
After one hour and sixteen songs a mostly pleased, amused and entertained audience leaves the church. And it was hopefully not the last time that a concert took place here.