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10 December 2004
Norwegian excursion
Source : Adresseavisen
The cool, the shy, and the savage.

Quite a lot of people, but far from fully, when Bertine Zetlitz started the show ten past eight last night. Even with several thousands present, and three of the country's most 'international' pop stars on stage, it started expectantly. Zetlitz did a glamorous entré with leopard coat and a six men strong band, that sounded professionally and solid.

Despite of OK sound, solid band, and several of her better songs, Zetlitz had to turn to the old dance band trick with the hands over the head to make it look like the massive pop show she is preparing for. She showed that she's singing well live, but have difficulties in the span between trying to be naturally and be talking to the audience, and a more cool image as a well thought-trough pop star. Even a wonderful song as Adore Me did just partially work. First on Fake Your Beauty at the end of the three quarter long set did the audience take off without being called for it.

Now, Trondheim Spektrum isn't the infectious concert premises (the sound varies greatly depending on where you stand), so as a warm-up Zetlitz did a professional, okay job, even though pop star isn't the first word you'd think about after the meeting between star and the hall.

Lene Marlin is something so rare as a pop star just in strength of her songs. Thus it was exciting to see how she handled the expectations of an audience warmed up on glimmer and finery.

It started alarmingly with a mechanic version of Sitting Down Here performed by a small girl in front of a massive, professional, but somewhat characterless band. After three songs, she looked a bit naked and abandoned without the guitar across her stomach. Still the audience was with her, totally unasked. Then she suddenly sat in the midst of us all, in the middle of the hall, with a guitar, and was singing sorely and well about being found, without the band, just some tangents and herself, with a warmth, vulnerability, and intensity that made it a bit of a down-trip when she went back to the big stage and the band again.

If Lene Marlin isn't much of an entertainer, then she has, when she's offering herself, still more than enough to show for on stage. An uneven, somewhat awkward, but charming set got its logical finale with Unforgettable Sinner, in the evening's most cozy community singing.

As a stage artist, Morten Abel is almost so far you can get from Lene Marlin. After Elvis, Monkees, and Curtis Mayfield over the sound installation, he was finally there. Even almost invisible behind big screen, he has more authority on stage than Zetlitz and Marlin put together. Then the screen went down, and there he stood in a white suit, sunglasses, and appeared as the pop entertainer that he is, with a possible growing Elvis complex somewhere in the large production. We didn't, unfortunately, make the whole set of Abel before deadline, but judging by the first half, he gave the masses precisely the showmanship they were hoping for - after two departments with rather little of just that.

Translated by Tef Johs


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