Friday, August 05, 2011
What a sign of resurgence! Since going on hiatus and splitting from their lead singer Jenny Berggren in 2003, Swedish band Ace of Base had fresh faces Clara Hagman and Julia Williamson in Toronto last night, performing at Queer Beerfest at Exhibition Place.
The energy was infectious and there was so much love to be shared! Julia kept forming her hands into a heart shape symbol sharing conceptual hearts with raucous fans, who reached and clambered over fences for a chance to literally connect with the stars. I was close to the front where I felt satisfactorily touched, just making occasional eye contact.
Since flipping the tape over in my walkman back when cassettes were the mode-d'ecouter, I have to admit I hadn't given Ace of Base much thought. Had the singer committed suicide? Where were they now? I was completely surprised by the fact that I would have ever gotten the chance to see them perform! But what is it about them and other Swedish bands like the Cardigans that I love so much? Original members Ulf and Jonas were rockin' out and there were amazing and hilarious doppelganger b-boy dancers to back them up. On top of that, the band was generous enough to do three encores, including an emotional moment where a fan was called up to help rally voices for Don't Turn Around, which was an fitting anthem to wind down to, considering nobody wanted them going anywhere.
It was a surprising end to a taxing week. Despite the global economic meltdown we're experiencing post US debt ceiling disaster, the song glossed over my petty worries with positive reminders like "no one's gonna drag you up to get into the light where you belong. But where do you belong?" Perhaps that's a question we should ask AND prepare for more often. But in the mean (and I mean MEAN) time, you really did see and feel the love. It was a good sign. :)