The last SAMA
The first SAMA was held in 1998. Ten years later, the time had come to close this chapter of music history and visit the very last SAMA. All in all, it felt like the last night with the gang. Alexander Hofman was conférencier, repeating his job from the first one in 1998. Covenant won the award for Best Artist of the year, just as they did in 1998. Anyone spotting a pattern here?
Eskil Simonsson of Covenant introduced us to his new project called Cement, which mostly consisted of loud noise. Next up were the new band Menticide with a harsh EBM show that reminded me of Spetsnaz in appearance.
John Foxx was once the lead singer of Ultravox, and this night he reappeared with his solo material. Unfortunately the concert was quite uninspired and boring, even though a couple of old-timers in the front lines almost cried with joy when he slipped in an Ultravox song.
To add even more nostalgia to the evening, the spacemen of SPOCK did a gig which featured a lot of old songs such as E-lectric and Never trust a Klingon from their first album in 1993. They even dressed up for the occasion, with ten years worth of digging in the scene clothing wardrobe. Hofman was in a great mood and managed to hassle the citizens of Stockholm as well as firing a water gun at us in the audience.
Some of you might remember Swedish synthpop band Page from the eighties. One of the members, Anders Eliasson, did his live debut tonight with his latest project. Later, the British girl trio Client entered the stage and filled the hall with cold electronic music. Vasi Vallis, former keyboard player in VNV Nation, presented his new band Reaper including a keyboard player in Jedi robes.
The highlight of the evening for me was the gig by Combichrist an hour after midnight. I missed them at WGT last year, due to the enormous queue outside Werk II in Leipzig. Andy had trouble using his right arm after an encounter with the Swedish police on the way to the concert, and decided to dedicate the song “Enjoy the abuse” to them. The scene was complete with a hangman’s rope and the world’s most aggressive drummer. A lot of people joined me at the front fence, dancing like maniacs. Great fun!
Even though the theme was nostalgia, there were several great moments during the evening and I’m sad to see that no more SAMAs are coming down the road. But all good things come to an end, as April Tears once sang. Or to quote Eskil when he came to collect his award: “SAMA is dead. Long live SAMA!”
This evening was a perfect warm-up for tomorrow’s concert in Stockholm: Nine Inch Nails, supported by Ladytron. See you at the fence up front!