Simply a Hell of a concert
Procol Harum conquered the audience at Hell Blues Festival on Friday night.
The excitement was top. The power from the scene was overwhelming. This from a band that hadn't played for three months, and rehearsed only during sound-check - mainly two songs which they didn't even play! This was absolutely the best concert of the four I've seen during this summer's tour.
To be honest, I was a little nervous before the concert. Would blues fanatics care for Procol Harum? Would Procol fans care to go to a blues festival? I was even more worried because there seemed to be several parallel gigs at the same time, even in the Rica Hotel, the main venue. That seemed to increase the risk that the crowd could walk away to some serious blues session instead of staying and listening to that band whose main hit was based on Bach anyway.
But I needn't have worried. It was proved again that Norway is a stronghold for Procoldom. More than a thousand people crowded the Rica Hall, giving Procol the most enthusiastic welcome possible, and supporting the band throughout the concert. I could often not hear Gary's small talk between the numbers for the cheering of fans – both young and seasoned.
The set list was rather similar to most concerts during the summer tour, but we were treated to Rambling On, introduced by Gary as "one of our blues numbers". So Far Behind and TV Caesar, that were played during the summer tour, were lacking. Beyond the Pale was introduced with a warm thank you to Jens and the web site.
Holding On was played, introduced as "one of our anti-war songs", and A Salty Dog was dedicated to lost friends - including all the victims of the atrocities in New York.
Not many new songs, but our boys played with a determination and a power of a steamroller. And they clearly appreciated the passionate reception from the audience. This was a great, great moment for Procol Harum.