One of the not inconsiderable problems of Sweden organizing Eurovision this year in their gorgeous capital city is that Stockholm has an overwhelmingly great music scene at any time. Add in Eurovision and your senses go on overload and you have to pace yourself or risk burning out.
From yesterday to the end of this week, the schedule is packed TOO full with great events and free concerts. At any given hour I could happily be at three different venues enjoying a spectacular concert, and every night after the Eurovision show ends at 11:30 or so, there are other options just warming up for the night. Happily, my days of staying out till 5 or 6am at a club are long past, so I can stifle a little regret and tuck in for the night around 1 or 1:30. The next couple of days I have to make a point to slow down and enjoy the other fine things this city has to offer, otherwise I will leave Monday without getting out of the Eurovision and Swedish pop music bubble.
I just got home from a big party/concert organized by the fan website Wiwibloggs, which looked great on paper. Seventeen Swedish and Eurovision star acts are on, and the show will go on for the next three or four hours. Unfortunately the sound at Hard Rock Cafe was appallingly bad, and I had to beat a hasty exit before my ears started bleeding from the overamplified, distorted sound near the stage.
Isa, the assured 17-year old new face of Swedish pop, had the right idea when she stopped midsong and said she would start over when they got the speakers fixed. It got slightly better and she did her song. At least I didn’t feel bad tearing myself away after her set, knowing that the performers I would normally give my eye teeth to see and hear would be performing under really subpar circumstances.
Now off to the jury show of the second group of semifinalists.