Local legends Violet Road closed a nation-wide tour in their hometown’s fanciest location with a magnificent show.
For the past five years it has become customary for Violet Road, arguably North-Norway’s biggest band at the moment, to promote each and every one of their new albums with a massive Tromsø show. Not so much this time. Indeed, the band’s new record, “In Town to Get You,” had been released for almost two months when the band took residence at the city’s new musical and entertainment hotspot, the Grande Sale of TheEdge hotel, for two shows closing their latest, highly-successful, nation-wide tour. The reason? The band believed that they would be more apt to give a great performance after having, so to speak, “rehearsed,” their new show in southern Norway for a bit. While the band has never been known for ever putting a stale performance, the show they gave on the 29th of April was a tour de force, even by Violet Road standards.
The concert, which consisted of no less than 16 songs and quite a few of the hilariously-endearing stand-up pieces the Pop/ Folk/ Rock/ Country/ Blues outfit has become known-for, was performed in front of an absurdly compact crowd which was fully behind everything the band did from minute one. Even if the evening’s sound-mix was maybe a tad too favorable for the bass and tended to drown guitars and other strings at times, the audience’s enthusiasm was otherwise fully legitimate: dividing their set-list fairly between their last two albums and their eponymous one from 2011 (2013’s Peter Every And His Marching Band was only represented by a short medley performed as an encore), the quintet alternated between about as many styles as they played songs, intelligently re-imagining several of their classic hits (“Song for Another Day”) in the process.
Violet Road even felt confident enough, with reason, to perform a brand new song, “People of the Sun,” which was very-well received by the mass of crazed fans eager for anything the band could offer them. But even facing such a crowd, the boys appeared completely relaxed and kept switching between a seemingly endless supply of instruments and configurations, offering at the same occasion numerous instrumental solos and choral passages, all of which were even better received than the last.
But even the best things only last up to a certain point, and at about midnight, probably in order to let the hotel’s other guests be in peace, the quintet had to call it quits, leaving the stage after an encore closed by the jolly and humorous “Whiskey and Wine,” the final track of their new album. This proved to be a most fitting way to end an essentially flawless performance, demonstrating once again that Violet Road are very much like Whisky and Wine, they only get better with age!
Text: Lyonel Perabo