Jadudah’s debut album, released last November, was received with hospitable reviews. This Tromsø-based rock band, well-known long before the release of their official debut album for their music that weaves energy and melancholy together, now seems to be ready for some touring, and they have decided to hit their hometown first. So here they are at Driv on March 18th, together with support musician Ágy. The venue was changed a few days before the show, from Isbjørn scene to the bigger SNN-scene. Good for the musicians, since their energy was way more than enough to fill the SNN-scene.
Text: Yeonwoo Baik
It would be hard to talk about the show without talking about support musician Ágy, a Sami electro-pop musician. The opening of the door was delayed for almost an hour, and when nobody in the concert hall was sure when the show would start Ágy came onto the stage and silently began to play. The scene was soon filled to the brim with the atmospheric electro-pop music. The lighting matched the dreamy sound perfectly, and at some point Ágy looked almost majestic under the pouring light, all embraced by the mystical synth sound floating around her. She definitely succeeded in fixating the eyes of the crowd on herself.
Soon, with ominous intro Jadudah came onto the stage and opened the show with the energetic opening song of their debut album “And We Fall”. The concert hall was quickly filled with heat, and Jadudah carried the excitement to their next song, “Choices”. Jadudah’s overwhelming power was enough to make the song, which has relatively less impact compared to the other songs in the album, sound just as interesting and powerful.
Just as I was wondering whether the setlist of the concert would follow the order of the debut album, Jadudah started to play “Red”, a song not included in the album. The live version of this song was not its best, to be honest, but the band soon picked up gear again and conjured up one of the most perfect moments of the concert at “Catherine”. Across “Kaputo” and another old-school rock style song, the band played relatively more sentimental and slower songs in succession such as “Black Sea”, “WTDL”, and “Echo” (another song not included in the debut album!). A little orchestra was invited for “Black Sea” and presented beautiful string sounds. It is hard to say that the live show for “Love You (When You’re A Mess)” was perfect in a technical aspect, but still, it somehow deserves to be called one of the most perfectly-played song of the whole show with its explosive energy.
When Jadudah started to play the closing song of the debut album “One Last Song”, my heart started to pound with anxiety. What about my personal favourite, “Dandelion”? And what about “When I Sleep”, the song that shows Jadudah’s melancholy so well? I guess it was not only me thinking this, for I could hear some people shouting for “Dandelion”.
After Jadudah finished playing “One Last Song” and disappeared backstage, they almost immediately came back to play “Dandelion” and “When I Sleep”—it might have been more strategic to make us wait a bit longer, for we would have waited anyway whether the waiting time was 30 seconds or 3 minutes. We could feel a bit of tiredness from the voice of the vocalist when she sang “Dandelion”, but nevertheless the song was performed beautifully. Everyone started to clap along to the song at some point. It was obvious that the song was the most beloved song of the album for many of us. The show came to an end with the energetic finale “When I Sleep”.
It is hard to say that the live show was without any flaws—the band certainly stumbled and made little mistakes here and there. However, the show was nicely performed in general. And one far more important thing that must be mentioned is that they perfectly managed something that can be done only with live performances—weaving the atmospheric tension and energy into the songs, making the hearts of the audience pound. Plus, the vocalist Helle Larsen was adept with making the ambience of the concert hall even more alive with her cheerful comments and motions, sliding on the stage floor with shoeless feet. The show was rich with heat and energy. Energy, melancholy, darkness, madness, sentiment, cheeriness, and what else—they showed everything they had in the concert.
I have to confess at this point that I am a metalhead with a very narrow musical taste. I happened to review their debut album a few months ago for Utropia and when I heard that they were coming to Tromsø for a live show, I thought that perhaps it would be nice to hear them live after listening to their studio album so many times to write the review. And believe me, the energy they showed during the concert was so overwhelming that even I was letting myself go with the rhythm and the flow, moving my body as if it was the most natural thing to do at the moment.
I guess I have to summarise my final impression of the concert here. I know it is not a good thing to focus on the vocalist when talking about a concert of a band, but it is true that the presence of Helle Larsen was definitely remarkable during the show. And again, Ágy made a beautiful opening with her powerful and mystical presence. It was as though I was lost in the magical forest of sirens for one and a half hours—I would say that it was indeed the night of the sirens.