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Live Review: Oh Land & Friends

By Nina Vasiljevic Special to The Chronicle

On a chilly night of March 2nd, 2013, the audience gathered in front of Rockwood Music Hall on 196 Allen Street, NY to see “Oh Land & Friends” perform.

As you enter the Rockwood Music Hall, you can see a really small, intimate, “pub like” venue, consisted of a small wooden stage with brown drapes hanging from the ceiling and red velvet rhomboid walls. There were a few reserved tables in front of it. The bar was across the stage with balconies above it that oversaw the stage and the whole venue. The lights, which were dim and red, have created that feeling of intimacy. The spotlight was on the stage.

At 9:30 P.M., Nanna Øland Fabricius, also known as Oh Land appeared on stage followed by two of her friends, an applause, whistles and supportive cheers from the audience. She asked the audience if it’s still snowing outside, to which the audience muttered the answers. But still, she accepted to believe that it’s not snowing and added that “rain’s so weird.”

Courtesy of Nina Vasiljevic

A moment later her powerful voice filled the room captivating the audience. Her musical repertoire consisted mostly of new songs from her upcoming album, which is still in the process of recording and couple of the old ones, such as “Wolf & I”, “White Nights” and “Sun of a Gun.”

New songs included ballads such as: ”Three Chances”, “Cherry on Top”, “Love You Better”, “Green Card” and “Bird in an Airplane.”

“Have you ever seen birds in airport?”, Nana asked. (Audience: Yes.) “Weird, right? How did they get in here? Are they going to the South?” (Audience laughed) Then she added: “I would feel kinda bad for them, but then like, maybe they’re just smart. This song is kind of about that… Just kind of.” Then she started “Bird in an Airplane” and the laughter died as the audience concentrated on the narrative of the song.

“This is a sleepy song”, said Nana introducing one of her new songs. Her introduction was followed by a beat of a bass guitar while she threw her fists in the air. “Alright, I’ll be serious,” she said. Audience laughed. It was clear that it was a “sleepy song”, after Nana sang the chorus about “sleepy town.”

“This song is called “Love You Better…and it’s new. Must be pretty confusing to listen to so many songs that you don’t know,” she remarked. Then she started singing: “I will love you better, better when I’m old…” The words moved many in the audience.

“You know when you meet somebody and it’s just like too strong too fast?” (Someone in the audience: “Yeah.”) “You know that? Why don’t you tell us about it?” (The audience laughed) “Alright…that was the story. This song is called “Pyromaniac.” The audience started screaming to the beat of “Pyromaniac” showing the love for the strong drum and guitar line.

“I am your Green Card, I am your Green Card, so stay with me…”, was the chorus of the following song titled “Green Card.”

“This song… I wrote it, because I was reading about Renaissance Men, like Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo. And I was like…ahhh, they can just do everything. They were like doctors, and they were painters, and they were like really socially skilled and just probably good looking. I was just like, there needs to be like Renaissance Girls song. So this is called “Renaissance Girls,” said Nana and then started playing the drum intro to the song.

The last song she played was “Son of a Gun”, a very popular song from her second album “Oh Land.” She thanked the audience for coming and for “being so kind to her new songs.”

Later on Nana mingled with the audience willing to answer all the questions they had. She said that her next album is “95% finished”, but few touch-ups are needed. She personally thanked for coming every person that approached her.

This was one of those little intimate concerts that stay imprinted in your memory forever. The audience laughed, swayed to the music and even shed a tear. It was a full cathartic experience.

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