I first saw Bendik perform at the Bukta festival this past summer, and was fairly impressed by their performance. Since a concert of their own was planned in Tromsø, I was excited to see if they could deliver again.
Bendik is a Norwegian band consisting of Silje Halstensen (vocals and guitar), Jan Hovland (synth), Bendik Kjeldsberg/Tobias Ørnes Andersen (drums) and Simon Dolmen Bergseth (guitar). Formed in 2008 by Silje Halstensen, their music can be described as synthpop with rocking drums and guitar, heartfelt lyrics and strong vocals.
A purple mist welcomed the attendees into a tiny room with a side of stairs. This smokiness continued throughout the evening, coupled with a spectacular light extravaganza. The purple, green and yellow set the mood for the night. At first I thought the venue was quite small but considering the fact that I found out the show sold out that day, I think the size turned out to be just right. Kudos to the booking people on this one. There was great excitement at the top of the show. The crowd was very relaxed in the early moments, some having conversations during the set. People were situated quite far from each other. However, once Bendik performed their better-known songs, the mood shifted to a friendlier and welcoming atmosphere, with people sitting on the balcony above and along the stairs. With the stairs crowded and the room all smoky, it felt like a ‘small’ fire hazard.
Playing on the smaller Driv stage, Isbjørn, the band sounded amazing. The set list consisted of songs from their new album Fortid (2016) and some older material. From the crowd favorite of “Evig” to the newest single “Fortid”, the audience were entertained for about an hour of good time. My favorite performance of the night was of the song “Kriger”, which I think resonated with others as well. Only a handful of people seemed to have been familiar with more than five songs. Silje Halstensen was really excited to bring her band to Tromsø for their very own concert while on their tour across Norway. She has a passionate performing style where you really believe the words she is singing, and you can feel her energy disperse into the sea of individuals.
I was curious to know if they could live up to my expectations and whether they would deliver just as well in a different setting to a different type of crowd. They certainly did, and I would gladly go and see them again. I would be especially interested in seeing Bendik perform without all the performance aids. I think they would still sound great as they are a group of very talented musicians. Besides the band, what confuses me about Driv concerts is that there are never any warm up artists. I think people would appreciate something to get them excited for the main show.
Text: Jennifer Britt Lundberg Hansen