We are a pair of twin sisters who love being with friends, travelling, and going to concerts, and there’s nothing we love more than when we can combine all three. This weekend, in the early morning of Friday the 23rd of November, we boarded a train to Oslo Airport, and then a plane to Trondheim, the fourth biggest city in Norway. Or, technically, both the airport and the culture center we went to are in Stjørdal, a smaller town only half an hour’s drive from Trondheim, so this was where we spent the the whole day.
After finding our way on foot from the airport to the culture center, we sat waiting for our good friend Nina to join us. When she arrived it was time to get food, and of course we managed to get lost in the labyrinth of the shopping centre. Safely back at the culture center, we met two of the guys in Violet Road’s crew, wheeling out the merch box. One of them was Truls, a guy who’s been touring with the band for a while. Always happy to see him, we followed him to where he set up the merch stand, where he ended up asking us if we wanted a task to do. We immediately said yes, resulting in us removing the plastic from three boxes worth of CDs, so the guys in the band would have an easier time signing them later. Apparently, we did well, because we each got one beer as a reward, which we suddenly had to down quickly, because the concert was about to start.
Violet Road is a Northern Norwegian band from Tromsø, playing indie pop-rock. As with many bands, they should be enjoyed live, because that’s where you really get to experience their energy and their love for their audience and music. Kjetil Holmstad-Solberg has a voice that stuns you and forces you to listen, especially when all the focus is on him. Halvard Rundberg is everywhere all at once, either playing his guitar, his mandolin or his saxophone. Håkon Rundberg plays the keyboard steadily and easily, and sometimes also shows us his great skill on saxophone. Espen Høgmo goes from sitting to standing to sitting again, always drumming intensely and beckoning the audience to participate. And lastly, Hogne Rundberg plays his bass while making people laugh fondly at his shenanigans. Everyone always goes out ten times happier than before, and this concert was the most energetic so far on the tour, as is often the case in this area. People in Trøndelag usually create a great atmosphere. It makes the powerful moments more powerful and the crazy moments much crazier. Since this is an album release tour, the concert mostly consisted of their new songs, and even the old favourites had been renewed. And yet, no one wanted for anything. It was, as always, musical magic on stage.
After the concert, the audience poured out into the lobby to wait for the band by the merch stand. They have made it a habit to hug and talk to anyone who wants to, and of course give photos and autographs. As always, we waited till the other fans had gone before we finally approached the band, getting hugs and a long chat, as well as even more beers, before they had to go to move on with their tour, so we left for Nina’s home.
The next day, we walked around Trondheim and made sure to get to see all of the most beautiful sights the city has to offer. The Nidaros Cathedral was, naturally, our first stop. Surrounding the cathedral on three sides is a graveyard, and in front there is a big plaza with a cozy little café where countless tourists come to eat. Personally, we stopped by because we know someone who works there. When we had taken in the grandness of the cathedral properly, we moved on through the beautiful wide streets, which were made that way because the city burned down in 1681 and rebuilt to withstand the spreading of fire. The houses are still made out of wood though, and the best thing about them is that they are painted in many different colours, making the place a colourful masterpiece. All the houses stand on poles and lean into one another in red, yellow and brown all the way down the waterfront, except from where the bridges cross the water.
As we got to the other side of the water we found ourselves in an older part of the city, with narrower streets and a steep hill leading up to the old fortress looming high above everything else. We climbed up, and were soon standing directly beneath the main building of the fortress. Up there there are cannons standing on grassy ridges and a track leading to a square in front of the old dungeons where people from the resistance were executed during World War II. It’s weird to be standing there and reading about it on a little plaque. Of course there was an amazing view up there too.
Our last stop before heading back to our friends’ apartment was the Christmas street to get some ice cream. Every street looks better with Christmas lights, so we had to stop for a little bit and just look at it. The day after, we left Trondheim, but we will no doubt be back again very soon.