“Aspetta e Spera”: the Kings of Convenience are back – Photos and Reportage from the Milan concert

I Kings Of Convenience they’ve been bloody absent from our lives for too long, but I think waiting is a prerogative of their way of calling themselves artists.

They also wait for the concert at Arcimboldi Theater, from the public as well as from photographers in the morning for the shooting. An attitude that I consider not very Zen considering that Milan has been living for days under a hood of fog and in the air there is a humidity capable of electrifying even the synthetic fur of the furs camouflage that I see in the queue at the ticket office.

The theater is still full on the second round of the show of the day, which heartens me because I’m probably not the only intolerant.

Kings of Convenience in concert at the Teatro degli Arcimboldi in Milan photo by Andrea Ripamonti for www.rockon.it

Finally Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe appear on stage, the show promises to be an evening of reconnection, both among themselves and with the public, and these intentions are very clear from the staging: on stage only two chairs and four acoustic guitars. I kings of conveience they did not foresee other singers or supporting musicians but a minimal scenography, almost non-existent for a set that wants to claim its extreme decibels in an atmosphere of deafening silence.

Love remains as usual their favorite subject which results in “Peace Or Love” latest album with songwriting so unadorned that it requires melodic strength and trust, despite the couple never straying from their acoustic guitars and the occasional violin.

What emerges most strongly from this show is certainly the casual alchemy of the duo who have never suffered the past time – as is jokingly reiterated by Øye on stage “The best thing about working together for a long time is that we have a lot of great songs to offer you”- the two are completely at ease with each other, even if the one is more communicative and his delightful anecdotes intersperse the songs. There is something so similar yet distinct about their voices, that they come to complement each other perfectly.

The show reveals a curious lineup, which eliminates longtime favorites – like the first single “Toxic Girl” – in order to allow the new project to breathe deeply. I mark a deserving stubbornness in my opinion – live, the “Peace Or Love” material seems to instantly connect with the crowd, carried away by graceful musicality and dry Nordic humor.

Kings of Convenience in concert at the Teatro degli Arcimboldi in Milan photo by Andrea Ripamonti for www.rockon.it

In this context “Comb My Hair” becomes a delicate opening with which Glambek Bøe greets the public mimicking a few words of Italian. “Fever” becomes a moment of nice interaction with those present who are called to keep the rhythm with their hands – “keep funking“- they both ask adding at the end of the piece – “Thank you for be our Drummers”.

The voices of Øye e Bøe , coupled and tonally similar, remain a fundamental part of the charm of the live. The delicacy and care are given by the different vocal tones that express perfectly and at the same time the innocence and experience of the band. There are also moments of simple sadness that tell the complexity of love as in “Rocky Trail” e “Killers”.

Aside from the odd dives into the catalog – a terrific take on “24-25” for example – the set remains fixed on the new album, a sign of the couple’s confidence in their material.

Returning for a jovial encore, Kings Of Convenience broke up with a journey into the past; Erlend sings “Mrs. Cold” from the darkness of the side of the stage, before gleefully shaking a few dance steps into an exuberant “I’d Rather Dance With You”, and despite too much waiting it is nice to end an evening like this.

Click here to see the photos of Kings of convenience al Arcimboldi Theater in Milan (or browse the gallery below)

Discover the Setlist of the Milan concert

  1. Comb My Hair
  2. Ask for Help
  3. Cayman Islands
  4. Rocky Trail
  5. Rumours
  6. Angel
  7. I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From
  8. 24-25
  9. Killers
  10. Love Is a Lonely Thing
  11. Fever
  12. Catholic Country
  13. Misread
  14. Homesick
  15. Cold
  16. I’d Rather Dance With You

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