I’ve never been to a concert held at a venue in a strip mall before. Never having spent any discernible time in the suburbs, it was a weird experience to pull up in front of a Lacrosse Unlimited for a concert. Regardless, the show Ane Brun and Linnea Olsson put on at Jammin Java was a great one. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I entered the venue, but it was packed with people. Even an hour before Linnea Olsson was set to come on, both the tables and the standing room by the bar in the back were completely full. At the very front of the venue, it was evident that Norwegians showed up to support their countrywoman.
The show started with Linnea Olsson, a Swedish cellist making her American debut. Her opening set was no more than 7 or 8 songs, all of which sounded extremely delicate. Her music felt as delicate as fine china, a perception that only crashed because of the thunderous applause she received at the end of every song. There was a subtle intensity about her music that reminded me of a Franz Schubert Lied, especially in the song “Ah!” Before her performance, she summarized the vibe perfectly, “It’s about when you dive into the ocean to forget all your troubles.” Olsson’s plucking and the use of the cello created a wonderful pop melody without the excess fat.
Ane Brun started her set by launching into her hit single, “Do You Remember”. Her voice was magical, the quality and timbre of it sticking with me long after the show. “Do You Remember” was defined both by her voice and the drums. Yet, with the acoustic set up that Brun brought, it was interesting for her to let her voice carry the weight of the song. She did it wonderfully and continued with the show in a similar fashion. She herself said to the crowd that this was the first tour in a long time where she only brought a piano, a guitar and a cello as accompaniment, a stripped down set intimate and perfect for the coffee bar setting that Jammin Java provided. While there was a more intimate feeling, the atmosphere exuded by the songs felt vast. One of the notes I made at the concert was that the “music was best for driving in a massive fjord.” By the end of the set, which traversed a climax with her cover of Beyonce’s “Halo”, I felt a tug in my heart from her music and the emotions that created. All in all, a solid show by Ane Brun and Linnea Olsson.