Sweat, tears and Team Me/Honningbarna

INTENSE: Honningbarna made their audience sweat on Thursday night. Photo: Stian Raa

A VEKA-evening of dancing, jumping and two frenetically celebrated bands
By: Milena Virchow

“Amazing!”, “Great!”, “Magic!”– The audience calls thursday’s concert with Team Me a success. A few weeks ago a certain incident made the future of Team Me seem uncertain. After several disagreements – especially about the participation in a scholarship sponsored by Statoil, an multinational energy company, the only female band member Synne Øverland Knudsen left the band. So on Wednesday at Rokken, five Team Me-boys appeared together with their new female member under massive applause and shouts of excitement.

Within the last year Team Me has arisen to one of the “hottest newcomers 2011”, if you believe bloggers and journalists around the world. By releasing the EP “Team Me-EP” and their first album “To the Treetops!” the band from Oslo managed to become the support act of The Wombats and played at “The Great Escape” in Brighton and “Club NME” in London.

This VEKA-evening however, proved that you don’t have to be in London in order to enjoy a euphoric experience. When Team Me started their concert with songs such as “Weathervanes and Criminals” and “Dear Sister” the nearly filled Rokken was sold. Lead singer Marius Drogsås made the crowd dance their shoes off on “Show me” and “Come on”. Team Me’s music stands out of the average indie-pop crowd with their warm and rich orchestrated songs somewhere between Sufjan Stevens and Arcade Fire.

ENGAGING: Team Me made their audience sing and dance.. Photo: Stian Raa

The concert finally found its climax in encore-song (and longest title in Rokken’s concert history) “With My Hands Covering Both of My Eyes I am Too Scared to Have a Look at You Now”. Marius climbed his fans’ outstretched hands holding him up while the excited crowd sang along: “I hope I mean something, I hope we mean something, I hope we mean something for you, my love!” They do – at least this is the remaining feeling after they have left the stage. With all the joy and happiness in Team Me’s presentation of their music, they do not have to fear the comparison with other “indie-tribes”.

Let the alarms sound

After an hour of Team Me and a short break the double concert continued without any less passion in the air. Honningbarna enters Rokken. Three band members elbow their way through the audience, climbing over the barriers on to the stage and the music starts. Even if lead singer and cellist Edvard Valberg, with his boyish look (a button-down shirt, tie and slip-over) does not look angry at all – his music sounds so. The punk rock band Honningbarna debuted in 2010 and quickly convinced critics and fans with their political and socially critical lyrics.  Last year they won the Norwegian award Spellmannprisen in the rock-category for their album “La alarmane gå” (“Let the alarms go”). However, their recent success was overshadowed when Honningbarna-drummer Anders Eikås died in a car accident this last month.

SWEATY: Honningbarna's Christoffer Trædal playing it up on the song "Til Ungdommen". Photo: Stian Raa

And Thursday’s audience honoured the band’s appearance. With all the power in their lungs people sang and jumped along with Edvard and the rest of the band. Honningbarna lively demonstrated their on-stage quality and made their audience participate and form an intense dancing mass of people. Between the songs Honningbarna do not piffle and cant; the connection to their audience is made through their music and other interaction – stage diving included.

The climax of Honningbarna’s sweaty performance appeared when the mass bursted into excited singing and shouting at their hit-song «Borgerskapets Utakknemmelige Sønner». Even if the amount of listeners had shrunken a bit compared to Team Me’s performance the crowd in front of the stage euphorically celebrated Honningbarna from their first song to the last. With the punk rockers’ final song, an emotional, cheerful and intensive VEKA-night find its ending – but the audience will keep it in their mind long after their sweat has dried.

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