It dawned on me that I have spent quite a good bit of the Day One coverage on Mando Diao, despite later excitements of the nature of PJ Harvey and Kasabian. This is testament to the fact that, as my early last.fm records, which, unlike many others, I have not reset at all, show, there was a time when I was listening to them in very heavy rotation. So much so that they still keep the overall sixth spot in the all-time charts, in spite of massive later onslaughts by other bands.
Fact is, at some point I felt like I’ve grown out of them, or simply exhausted the back catalogue, and the new material, particularly the one released after the departure of Gustaf Norén, did not speak to me in the way the early records had. I thus showed up for their gig in a fairly nostalgic mood, albeit a positive one, but nevertheless definitely focused on giving them my time and attention on account of the good old days.
Something akin to Robbie Williams fans going to all his (never ending) shows, even though he hasn’t really added anything to world of music since, well, basically Take That. Similarities stop here though, as I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Mando Diao’s more recent material was quite intriguing, veering from their early garage rock towards more synth driven experiments, and including an album in Swedish, which I found to be a wonderful thing to do- Sweden is such a pop hit powerhouse, yet they opt almost exclusively for easily marketable English lyrics. Obviously, since that’s the only way to compete with the UK and the US, but it’s nevertheless a breath of fresh air to listen to some Swedish too- of which I understand close to nothing of course, as they do not seem to scream Länskrim Malmö at any point during the songs.
Looking back, I almost feel guilty for not having them higher up in the charts, but I have decided to keep the original ratings (yes, such things exist) and not let the golden hues of remembrance cloud my judgement for any of this year’s concerts. Suffice to say that I have now added plenty of newer Mando Diao songs to my playlist. When in doubt, Swedish pop is often the answer.
PS: Bonus points for the backdrop, all rainbows, flamingos and trash pandas? Are those thrash pandas? And a hyena on the drum kit. Take notes, White Lies, take notes.
PPS: I may have mentioned this in the original review, but not here, and I feel this piece is thus lacking something important. So I’ll just leave it here for your consideration without further comment. Hot shirtless Vikings.