Dansbandskampen 2010: The first show!

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We attended the first live show of this year’s Dansbandskampen series last night. And oh my goodness it was even more fun than we thought it would be. Read on – you won’t believe your eyes or ears, but you’ll thank them anyway!

10 bands sing their own dansband arrangements of pop songs, or dansband classics, competing against each other for viewer votes, with one band getting eliminated every week. Before we get to the songs though, we HAVE to talk about the arena and the crowd. Basically, it was all set up to cater for people dancing. So rather than there just being a stage and then an arena full of seats, there was the stage at one end, then half of the space was turned into a huge dancefloor, with the other half set up with dining tables. So it wasn’t quite like anything we’d experienced in an arena before! We loved it though, mainly because everyone around us was clearly having the time of their lives. The dansband crowd seem to only care about one thing – having a good time. Which obviously makes for a great night out! And even after the televised show finished, the venue remained open and people kept on dancing.

As for the songs, well we were really pleased with the choices, as they included some of our schlager favourites, some of our dansband favourites, and some genius interpretations of American pop songs. We were a bit worried about the song choice of our favourite band in the competition, CC & Lee (‘I Kissed A Girl’ by Katy Perry) as it’s not really the type of song to show off your vocal range. However, when we met them before the show in the green room, they promised us that they’d put their own spin on it. And that they did! They turned it into an uber punchy number with a screaming final chorus. And despite the fact that they’re sisters, they didn’t mind taking on and fully embracing the casual lesbian overtones of the song, even actually kissing at the end!

Two of our favourite performances last night were two more rearrangements of American pop songs. Pure Divine did a spectacular new version of ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz, turning it into a cheesy schlager belter. They had such a great energy on stage and totally won us over, as we didn’t know anything about them before. The lead singer is highly likeable. Also, Sweetshots did a rousing rendition of Scissor Sisters’ ‘I Don’t Feel Like Dancing’ – a song that we usually quite detest actually. They gave the best performance of it we’ve seen since Same Difference on X Factor! And we loved the glamourpuss ladies leading the group!

Schlager was paid tribute to quite a bit during the show. Newcomers, Willez, did Linda Bengtzing’s ‘Jag Ljuger Så Bra’ justice, and it was nice to hear a new version of the song. Plus they all looked absolutely adorable in their costumes! And Patrik’s Combo took on Lena Philipsson’s ‘Det Gör Ont’. Patrik’s Combo are new to the dansband scene but have been playing together as musicians for years, more in rock venues. Their version of ‘Det Gör Ont’ though was a bit too slow for our liking, and would have been a lot better with some much needed punch injected into it.

Traditional dansband songs got an airing last night too. Jeppez & The Cowboys who we weren’t expecting to like (as they’re more the country music side of dansband music usually) put in a faithful and true performance of ‘Inget Stoppar Oss Nu’. It’s one of our favourite dansband songs, although we do prefer it with a female vocal, like on the new Anne-Lie Rydé album! It certainly got the best reaction of the night with the dancing crowd though. Another dansband favourite of ours (and another track featured on Anne-Lie’s new album) is ‘Två Mörka Ogon’. This was performed by former Melodifestivalen participants Rigo & The Topaz Sound last night. They put their own jazzy spin on it, but unfortunately it didn’t really work very well. And in the end, it was them that finished bottom of the phone vote last night, and they were eliminated from the competition.

Elisa’s were the nice surprise of the night for two reasons. Firstly, they beat Zlippers to take the final spot in the 10 dansbands competing in this show. We were worried they wouldn’t, as Zlippers have been around for decades longer and have a big fanbase already, whereas Elisa’s are new to it all. And secondly, because they gave a terrific performance of ‘Human’ by The Killers. The Killers reimagined for dansband – genius! There’s also a rousing key change in there, and isn’t Elisa just the most charismatic performer?! Plus, most of her band are quite cute too! We met Elisa before and after the show and she’s adorably sweet in person.

And finally there was Wizex and Donnez who didn’t really leave much of an impression on us to be honest (aside from Donnez being quite sexy!). But both made it through to next week’s show, so we’re hoping that they’ll impress us in time with some ridiculous, yet amazing performances. Which is really all we’re looking for here!

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