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A-ha: MTV Unplugged - Summer Solstice Dlx. (2xCD+BluRay)

A-ha: MTV Unplugged - Summer Solstice Dlx. (2xCD+BluRay)
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ANTAL
In the land of the midnight sun, the clocks tick slightly different than they do elsewhere. This is especially true during the summer solstice, when the sun hardly sets at all, bathing the small Norwegian island of Giske – where a-ha played their first ever two acoustic concerts – in an eerie twilight.

Giske is a tiny island in close proximity to the city of Ålesund on the shore of the North Atlantic Ocean — a popular city much frequented by day trippers arriving on huge cruise ships during Norway’s short yet intense summer season. But a-ha’s audience didn’t get to Giske on such boats. Coming from destinations all over the world, for them getting to Giske meant embarking on a plane to Oslo and from there to Ålesund. And from there you finally have to drive through a series of seemingly endless and frighteningly deep undersea tunnels to reach Giske, an island so beautiful and, well, remote, that one immediately wonders why a-ha handpicked this specific location to play their long awaited first MTV Unplugged shows on the night of the 2017 summer solstice, right where the world seems to end.

Pål Waaktaar-Savoy: “Choosing Giske is like most of the things we do: It’s been 50% chance and 50% planned. We were discussing many different places to play these special shows — among them Manaus in the Amazon jungle, Berlin, London and New York. At the end of the day it was the Ocean Sound Recordings studio in Giske that made the difference. We knew that we could rehearse undisturbed in an extremely good sounding facility.”

a-ha booked the Ocean Sound Recordings studio, which looks out onto the ocean, to revisit their own back catalogue for two weeks together with producer Lars Horntveth, who had already been working on the acoustic arrangements for more than half a year. The nearby Øygardshallen (Giske Harbour Hall) turned out to be the perfect venue to stage their two first ever acoustic shows: They simply had to lay cables from A to B and then were able to use the studio at Ocean Sound Recordings to capture the shows perfectly. a-ha performed in front of an audience of just 250 people — the Øygardshallen’s glass front allowed the audience to gaze out into the pale night and onto a number of LED video steles that had been set up behind the band, serving as a minimalist backdrop to the concert. Suffice to say, the concerts were sold-out within minutes, as a-ha were to play “concerts so close to our audience like never before”. As Magne Furuholmen puts it: “These were by far the most intimate concerts we’ve ever given.”

Yet the beauty of the North Atlantic Ocean, the light of the midnight sun and the exclusivity of the concerts are only one half of the story. The other half is that the idea of a-ha playing their vast catalogue of world hits stripped down to their very essence is indeed a promising endeavor.


Tracklist

1: This Is Our Home
2: Lifelines
3: I’ve Been Losing You – feat. Lissie
4: Analogue (All I Want)
5: The Sun Always Shines on TV – feat. Ingrid Helene Håvik
6: A Break In The Clouds
7: Foot Of The Mountain
8: Stay On These Roads
9: This Alone Is Love
10: Over The Treetops
11: Forever Not Yours
12: Sox Of The Fox
13: Scoundrel Days – feat. Ian McCulloch
14: The Killing Moon – feat. Ian McCulloch
15: Summer Moved On – feat. Alison Moyet
16: Memorial Beach
17: Living A Boy’s Adventure Tale
18: Manhattan Skyline
19: The Living Daylights
20: Hunting High And Low
21: Take On Me
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