A live music sampler for Stockholm in September

A live music sampler for Stockholm in September
If you're looking for a way to offset the chill of September in Sweden, there is no shortage of concerts to choose from on Stockholm stages, writes David Stavrou.

After a summer full of festivals, September marks the start of Stockholm’s music scene’s migration from the great outdoors to the city’s many clubs, theatres and indoor venues. One international pop legend, one prince of darkness, a Scottish singer-songwriter and lots of American rock bands are in store for Stockholm music-lovers this month.

The first big name to visit Stockholm in September is Sting, who will arrive in town with The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra—which also accompanied him on his latest album, Symphonicities. The album is a collection of Sting’s songs interpreted as symphonic pieces, and features some of his most well-known songs, as well as some lesser-known ones, both from his solo career and from The Police days. While terrible things can happen to pop songs and to rock music when they’re given so-called classical arrangement, Sting’s album is well crafted and his music doesn’t turn banal or kitsch.

Most people attending the Stockholm show on September 9th will probably consider it a brilliant reworking of the classics (especially songs like “We Work the Black Seam”). Others might see the album and the concert as another “greatest hits” project in disguise, depriving great songs of their genuine and authentic feeling (especially police classics like “Roxanne”). For his many dedicated fans though, it’s guaranteed to be a memorable night.

The night before Sting steps onstage at the Ericsson Globe arena, the world’s largest hemispherical building will host one of the world’s most famous rockers. Ozzy Osbourne, whose musical career started in the late 60’s, may be better known nowadays for the reality series based on his family’s life and various other commercial ventures. But it will be all about the music in the September gig. Ozzy is promoting his latest album, Scream, but he’s sure to perform many of his earlier career and Black Sabbath’s metal anthems too, to the certain delight of his loyal fans.

For those who are looking for a more intimate setting than Globen to experience music, a new venue for acoustic and semi-acoustic shows will be opening its doors to the public on September 10th and 11th. Its name is Bryggarsalen and it’s located in an old brewery in Vasastan. Swedish internationally acclaimed rock band The Soundtrack of Our Lives will be there for the opening with their acoustic set.

Scottish singer-songwriter, Amy Macdonald, will perform in Stockholm as part of her current tour of Western Europe. 23 year old Macdonald released her second album, A Curious Thing, in March this year almost three years after her breakthrough first album, This is the Life. Her songwriting and her powerful voice have earned her both wide commercial success and positive reviews worldwide. Her Stockholm concert will be at Berns on September 22nd.

A few interesting concerts will take place this month further away from the mainstream. Rock club, Debaser, for example, will host many American upcoming rock bands in two of its Stockholm locations. One of them is Jeffrey Lewis and the Junkyards. Lewis is a diverse musician, writer and comic artist born and raised in NYC. He will bring his songs, with their clever humoristic lyrics and their simple punk and anti-folk influenced music, to Stockholm on September 11th.

Originally from Berkeley, California, The Morning Benders are an indie-rock group which gained some success with Talking Through Tin Cans, their first album from 2008. They have now released their second, Big Echo, which has some pretty songs and a nice, easygoing west-coast feeling to it. The band will be touring Europe during September before heading back to tour the US in October. They’re coming to Stockholm on September 17th.

Another California band to play Debaser is Citay. The band, which was founded in 2004 as a studio project in San-Francisco, has a great 60’s psychedelic folk-rock sound and it’s on its first European tour which includes three Swedish dates (the Stockholm stop is on September 25th when the band will play Debaser before Vancouver-based psychedelic group Black Mountain).

Södra Teatern will host a couple of experimental international musical shows in September. On the 14th, German composer and multi-instrumentalist, Michael Rother will introduce the music of NEU!, his highly influential band from the 70’s. The current band is named Hallogallo and it includes Steve Shelley, Sonic Youth’s drummer.

Matias Aguayo, will play also Södra Teatern on September 18th. His current musical style is hard to define. It starts out as electronic dance music but it’s influenced by both his Chilean background and his earlier techno work and it’s full of interesting rhythms and a heavy use of the human voice.

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