The Norwegian artist Aurora says you can make fun of everything, except moths. – Never screw with a moth, is her message! Read my review of her amazing gig in Oslo last night.
If you don’t know Aurora, please check out her performance on Jimmy Fallon’s talkshow first. Just look at Fallon’s reaction towards the end:
A good friend of mine said the following to me after I told him that I was going to review her gig in Oslo:
– We should be kind to Aurora, and take care of her!
And I get where he’s coming from.
Because when she’s standing there on stage, in front of a sold out Sentrum Scene in Oslo (1700 people), she looks so vulnerable. She smiles and laughs, like a child relishing the attention, but at the same time feeling slightly embarrassed by the situation. She also tells us straight out that even if she’s no longer nervous about going out on stage, she finds the situation very strange. People turning up and applauding her? Bizarre!
She continuously shares observations like this with us, and in the next sentence she tells us that her nails are dirty, or that you can joke about anything. Except moths!
– Never screw with a moth, she says.
The audience laps up these slightly staccato monologues this strong, unique and talented artist delivers. She jumps from one subject to another, sometimes mid sentence, before trying to get back on track again. All while her band starts tapping their feet, pointing at their watches.
She then tries to reel herself in, but ten seconds later she’s out on thin ice again, and the audience get a long monologue about murder, sadness and love. It’s like a stand up comedian has simply walked on stage, without any script or direction, and becomes a rousing success. She assures us that the night before, she had sat down to write what she was going to say between the songs tonight, in an attempt to avoid this. But she had written a book instead…
Sure, it’s not just this surprisingly charming offbeat behaviour that has the audience in the palm of her hand. It’s also the beautiful, beautiful music. Aurora has developed her own sound now. You know it when you are listening to an Aurora track.
The gig is a fine mixture of songs from her debut album All My Demons Greeting Me As a Friend, the sophomore Infections of a Different Kind (Step 1) and three brand new songs (at least they were new to me. The last one of the three new songs was magnificent, and pure Aurora. On this, and several other songs, she dances around in a cascade of lights, drums and an intense sound picture. Goosebumps galore!
The dancing is a combination of free improvisation and choreography. When it’s the latter, she is joined by three dancers, which adds a nice spice of variation to the show. This is especially apparent in the new single, Animal, which is already becoming an Aurora signature song (and probably the song that has taken over for Conqueror, which she sadly doesn’t do live anymore)
It’s also during these dance sequences that I realise how much she moves with grace and style on stage. She has the dance inside her. And a voice. Oh my, that voice! One of the most beautiful moments of the concert was when It Happened Quiet from the latest album is performed, with just her, a guitar and a backup singer. It’s amazing!
Even if she now has an Aurora sound, that doesn’t stop her from re-arranging som of the older material. The new arrangement on I Went too Far, for instance, works wonderfully, and has made the song even more catchy and dance friendly.
The last song before the encore is the insanely beautiful Running With the Wolves, and the encore itself is Queendom. Someone from the audience gives her a poster which says “You are the queen of my queendom.”
And when she at the end is receiving a standing ovation from an audience, between the age of 18 and 60, that has been so quiet between songs (except for the roars of laughter and applause erupting to the crazy thoughts coming out of her mouth), I’m thinking: – Yes. She is a queen. And we must take care of her!
What do you think of Aurora? Leave your thoughts below!