A Danish facebookie’ report
Concert in Karlshamn 25.2.2012 with Alexander Rybak, Mats Paulson, Barfotskvartetten and other artists. By Marianne Mata Hari Saietz.
The first photo shows the wonderful bridge between Copenhagen and Malmö. It is 16 km long and was built in 2000. Before that, we only had ferries!
I left my town at noon and arrived in Karlshamn around 15.30 after a long drive with one coffee-break. Karlshamn is a pretty little town by the coast and It was easy to find the Stadsteater, a big building next to a public school in a quiet street. I parked my car in the street and went to the theater to look for the Smurf. All entrance-doors were locked and the place seemed empty, but as I went around the building, I heard music from inside. It was “Fairytale” and I could hear Smurf singing.
After having listened for a while, I decide to walk to the town-centre ( 5 min. away ), find a place to buy some lunch and use a bathroom.
On the street-corner, I bumped into Madde and EbbaJ . They had just arrived by train from Stockholm. Madde had travelled for 8 hours and Ebba for 5 and they had paid incredibly much for their train-tickets. So being the foreigner among them, I had had the easiest and cheapest journey.
We found a cozy pizzeria and settled down for food and talk and coffee. It was very nice to meet both of them. Ebba was a new aquintance but as always, when facebookies meet, it doesnt take very long to get the famillar feeling, based on our common interests.
After having strengthened ourselves with food and coffee ( me ), we split up. Ebba and Madde needed to find their hotel/hostel, check in and get a shower and a little rest. I would look a little more at the town and then, return to the theater to see, if they had begun to open up the place. And when I returned around 17.30, there was life inside.
I had to pick up and pay for my ticket, but there was nobody at the ticket-sale, so I went inside the cafeteria, where an unknown lady approached me and called my name, It was Jaana Saari, a swedish lady from the facebook-page, who knew me from there. She had come with her husband and 8-year-old daughter, Rebecca. I had a cup of coffee with Jaana and her family and had a really good time. They told, they had met Alexander and Mats outside their hotel, so they were staying at the same hotel as them. Jaana had talked to Mats and told that Rebecca had brought her Ukulele and she wished to get Alexanders autograph on it. Mats had promised her, she could get it after the concert.
As we talked in the cafeteria, the foyer was beginning to get filled up with people. The vast majority of the 630 tickets had been bought by the company Södra Cell for their employees. The whole concert was a part of the 50-years anniversary-celebration of this company, which produces paper-pulp and employees a lot of people in the area.
I went to talk to the ticket-lady. We had been mailing together because I couldn´t buy my ticket from Denmark, but had got a special deal:They sent me the ticket by e-mail and I promised to pay at my arrival. The ticket they sent me was on row 13, but I had tried to use my charm a little, telling I had promised to take pictures for Alexanders Facebook-page and would be very grateful for a seat, closer to the stage. And the nice lady had kept a seat, reserved for disabled people on the first row on seat no. 1 in the side. Madde also got a good seat, right behind me and Ebba had a seat on first row too, but in the other side.
Photo: Marianne Saietz
With the ticket in place and everything in order, I went outside to send my latest report to my homies and update them. There was only 25 min. to the concert would start and the foyer was really crowded now, as more and more people were coming. The average-age seemed to be 50+. I was right outside the entrance-door, concentrating hard on hitting the right letters on my ( new ) smartphone, so I didn´t notice that a car rolled by me and parked outside the stage-entrance. Suddenly, I heard a famillar voice shouting ” Hi Marianne”..I looked around and there was Alexander, getting out of a car with his violin-case, white hat and scarf and glasses on. I answered “Hi” – a bit surprised , and saw him disappear through the stage-entrance with Mats.
I think, my text-message to the homies were something like: ” I haven´t seen Smurf at all – Oh , there he came”
So, we were ready for concert and went inside to find our seats. There had been very little information about what the concert would contain and it came as a surprise, that there were many other artists on the program than Mats and Alexander.
It started out with a Jazz-band with a very good female singer and then, there were some speeches about the company and the 50-year-anniversary. It felt like a very long waiting but finally, Mats Paulson came on stage and performed some of his songs. And finally, he introduced Alexander, by telling the story about how he discovered this “young guy with a violin” by finding a Youtube-video, where Alexander played “Visa Vid Vindens ângar”. Apparently, it happened on the evening when Eurovision 2009 was on TV from Moscow and Mats´s wife, Marianne was shouting upstairs that he should come and watch it with her. He answered: ” But I am just watching a video of a young norwegian guy with a violin” and she yelled back: ” But it is him, who is winning now”.
Photo: Marianne Saietz
Later, Mats wrote to Alexander and thanked him for playing his song so beautifully and Alexander had replied:
” Thanks. Maybe you have some more songs, I could play”? Then, the collaboration became a little on stand-by for some time, because Alexander became so occupied but later, he contacted Mats again and suggested, they made an album together with Mats Paulsons songs. Alexander invited Mats to Oslo and when he arrived, he discovered that Alexander had already prepared the whole thing. He had written the musical arrangements for all the songs. Alexander told, he wanted to sing in swedish. Mats had tried to persuade him to sing in norwegian, because he found it charming, but Alexander insisted on singing in swedish. Mats said, he was happy, Alexander still sounded norwegian. They did the rest of the work together, making corrections and creating the final arrangements of the music.
Photo: Jaana Saari.
This story was the introduction of Alexander and he came in and joined Mats on “Visa vid vindens ängar”. Then, Alexander took over the stage and performed Funny Little World and Roll with the Wind, and then, there was a break of half an hour. I will not describe the concert itself, as it can be seen in videos, but I can say about the atmosphere, that I had watched the audience and seen, they were not a typical audience for a Rybak-concert. Many people were elderly and there were only few young people and children. As Alexander took over the stage and talked, made jokes and played and sung his music, I looked again at the audience around me and I belive I could see, how the smiles started to spread and how people loosened up and started to laugh and enjoy. I could also feel how people were stunned by his violin-skills, as he performed with Bergrosa and the other wonderful songs of Mats Paulson. It was also touching to see the warmth and good feelings between Mats Paulson and Alexander. It was very visible, that both those two boys have really found a good friend in the other. I might add, that when the concert finished and Alexander performed Fairytale, the whole audience were standing up and applauding.
Photo: Marianne Paulson
After the concert, they had announced that the artists would come out in front of the stage and sign autographs, so the usual line was quickly built up. Now, it was the children and young kids with their parents, that filled the floor. After 10 minutes, Alexander and Mats came out and I was happy to see, that Mats apparently had many fans, who wished to meet him. But of course, Alexander had the longest line of fans, waiting to get his autograph, a hug or a picture.
Alex was looking good. He wore blue jeans, the dark-red sweater and a white T-shirt under it. He started signing, hugging etc. and everything was going fine. Alexander was really nice to people. I heard him say many times: “Thank you for coming to the concert” I went over to say Hi to Mats and he greeted me so warmly. I always get surprised, when people know me before I have met them, but he recognized me immediately: ” Is it you? I have been looking forward to meet you”. Big hugs and a lot of nice words. The Viking melted instantly. We had a long talk about his songs, the concert, how to make more concerts and a bit about some danish artists that had sung songs by Mats. I had no idea but I knew the names he mentioned, only those were old or dead artists, so it must have been many years ago. I met his wife too. They are both very, very nice people. I asked him for a picture with him and me, told him, I had promised somebody to get it and there was no problems.
Photo: Madde Gustafsson
Finally, the line in front of Alex was getting shorter and I went to say Hi to him and thank him for the concert. A girl needed someone to take her picture with Alex on her phone, and Alex said: ” Marianne is the best photographer”. Sadly, I made a fool of myself, fumbling with the girls smartphone and finally, I gave it to somebody else. But I managed to take a picture of Ebba and Alex with my camera. When it was my “turn”, I told him, I just had to give him a big hug from all the Facebookies, telling him, we were very happy these days. It was a great hug . I said: ” It´s from everybody – you know, who they are ” And in the most smurfy way, he thought a little and said ” Well, I don´t know ALL of them -yet “
I was talking to Marianne Paulson, asking her if she would make a picture of me, Smurf and Mats and when she asked, how she could send it to me, I asked, if we were friends on Facebook. Alexander commented with a smile: ” You are not friends with Marianne, until you are friends on Facebook, isn´t it true”? That Smurf. After the pictures were taken and all fans got what they wanted, he came and talked to me a little about Denmark. He asked, how it was going there and if I had an impression, if he had got more known in Denmark after his performance there. He told me, there were several interesting offers from Denmark, being negotiated now, but of course, he couldn´t tell more.
Photo: Jaana Saari
It was late and I was tired, so after a last hug to Ebba, Krystyna Khalidi, Jaana, Madde and Alexander, I said goodbye and hit the road home. I was home around 1.30.
Videos by me and Krystyna Khalidi from the concert in Karlshamn, can be found here:http://www.alexanderrybaknews.com/2012/02/27/16464/