SPAN (Live)

at Rockefeller Music Hall, Oslo, Norway, April 23, 2005

Span’s latest album vs. Time did not receive the reviews the band would have hoped to get. Most music journalists from their home country Norway have agreed that Span, last year’s bright Hard Rock hope, by the release of vs. Time has failed to keep up the legacy from its precursor, the critically acclaimed Mass Distraction. However, these days Span is on the road to bring the masses a new perspective on the band’s live abilities, and to display the new material’s live qualities.

On Saturday, April 23, 2005, Span entered the stage of Rockefeller Concert Hall in Oslo. Unfortunately, front man Jarle Bernhoft approached the task in a notably uninspired way. He sure did all the rock and roll choreography right, but it just didn’t look like he was meaning it. After all, the man’s status as a rock singer has since day one benefited from the great presence he is capable of packing into all his words and movements … but this night Bernhoft both looked and sounded distant.

Guitarist Joff Nilsen told the audience, somehow compulsory, that they were immensely proud of their new album, and he added, somehow humorous, that they just were misunderstood by their own time. Their own time or not … they ended up being eons short of the wonders they needed to transform anonymous new tracks like “I’m Nothing,” “When I Fall,” “The Outside,” and the totally pointless “Sea” into memorable live moments.

The band tried to make up for their weak new compositions by pouring out truck loads of energy from the stage. That’s fine, but there must be something like a six digit number of Rock bands on this planet using plain energy as their modus operandi, but they are all going nowhere without any good songs. Musical quality still counts.

However, Span’s latest single, “Cut Like Diamonds,” was one of the evening’s highlights, being both edgy and catchy. Skinsman Fredrik Wallumrød did his best at kicking the song forward, even though he from time to time suffered from an unpleasantly dumpy drum sound.

Another new track, “Better Believed It,” also made a few minutes worth while, but it was the main set’s closure, the previous album’s “Found,” that by far stood out as the capital moment. The encore “Baby’s Come Back” did too convey the qualities to make a party, but by then the whole thing was over.


I’m Nothing
Better Believe It
Don’t Think The Way They Do
Psycho Killer (Talking Heads cover)
When I Fall
The Outside
On My Way Down
Cut Like Diamonds
Baby’s Come Back


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