Flying into Flesland airport, Bergen is an experience. On approach, it is difficult not to gaze in wonder at the myriad fjords and idyllic island nests that surround Norway’s ancient capital city. The busiest port in the country is a base for the offshore fuel industry, freight and of course, tourism. Over 300 cruise ships dock here every year making it a very popular destination.
June concerts situated outdoors in Bergen are risky in terms of weather, although, let’s face it, there’s hardly a dry ‘time’ of year since it rains, some say, 300 out of 365 days. True to form, the forecast was damp but mild. Unlike last time here when I recall there were a lot of cold hands on the stage.
Once again we found ourselves in a beautiful town with no time to really take it all in. I was hoping to at least go for a wander along the dockside and the Hanseviertel Bryggen and the brightly coloured buildings, very much a part of the city’s heritage. We dropped into Bergen in similar fashion to yesterday’s day trip to Ålesund, in that we flew from Oslo with the intention of returning there immediately after show. All in all, quite a lot of travelling when the rides from the airports are factored in. Our German Driver team A, pictured below, sure make things easy though. L-R Markus, Piotr, Tobi and Goran.
Rain all day was the forecast, yet the minute we pulled into the Bergenhus Fortress backstage area, the sun appeared. Sound check was extended as this was to be the first show of the tour without our traveling PA system. Often, we have to share local systems when playing these festival venues. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, going back to old-fashioned stereo. To explain. There is a knock on effect of any PA system, especially the subs and how the low end affects the band. If not carefully set up, it can be disturbing, even with our in-ear systems and especially at the front of the stage, where Mark is. We had nothing to fear, the system was excellent, as you’d expect from a country where everything ‘works’. The local crews and staff were superb, as always.
Daylight shows outdoors mean the band can see the faces of everyone in the crowd for the whole show. There is a real connection that we don’t often enjoy, due to lights, darkness etc. The rain stayed away for most of the show and since we dressed appropriately, there were no issues with the cold. We had, we all agreed, the best show of the tour. It was unanimous. AND using local PA. The irony of this wasn’t lost amongst the band as with freedom seemingly only granted to presidents and royalty, we enjoyed unhindered ramp access and boarded the ‘Joyjet’ bound for Oslo. Ramp access is rare these days, essentially it means the cars drive right up to the stairs of the plane without the need for passengers and baggage to be screened. It only happens with internal flights in countries that are not encumbered with security paranoia. With several glorious G&T’s in hands, we toasted another incredible day on this amazing tour as we took off, headed due East enjoying the midnight sunshine.