Rock band a-ha packed Oslo stadium

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Norwegian rock band “a-ha” made a triumphant return to Oslo over the weekend as its so-called “Farewell Tour” finally made it home to Norway. More than 25,000 fans filled Ullevaal Stadium and proved that the sun always shines, if not on TV, as least on the three band members.

Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy claim they have agreed to part company, 25 years after their first smash hit Take on me became an international sensation. As expected, the catchy pop song ended Saturday night’s stadium concert in their old hometown.

It came after the band obliged fans with a long list of hits, starting with The sun always shines on TV and including Hunting high and low, Crying in the rain and Summer moved on before climaxing with last year’s huge hit Foot of the mountain.

Some fans and critics claim the band has never sounded so good, but in line with their tour slogan, they want to be “ending on a high note.” Furuholmen told newspaper Dagbladet last week that he’s more than ready to move on.

“We’re 50 years old, we’ve been doing this for 25 years,” Furuholmen said. “If I’m going to do something else, it has to be now.”

Furuholmen, who also has maintained a successful artistic career with several exhibitions of his works, described the band as “a 25-year-long marriage,” adding that “there are many reasons to leave one another. It would have been easier to continue, but it’s braver to stop.”

Harket plans a solo career while Waaktaar-Savoy, who has written most of a-ha’s hits, already has several requests to write songs for others. He’s the one who seems to think that breaking up is indeed very hard to do.

“I would have gladly continued,” Waaktaar-Savoy told Dagbladet. “We have more to give.” He says he has many more new songs ready to record, “at any rate half an album’s worth. I had written many new songs before we decided to quit as a band.”

The band will be earning an estimated NOK 25 million as its share of the fall’s ticket sales for its concerts in Norway alone. They’ll be playing in Bergen later this week, then in Stavanger, Tromsø, Trondheim and Kristiansand before they launch the European portion of their tour and have their grand finale back in Oslo in early December. Three concerts at the Oslo Spektrum arena are already sold out, after which they’re being allowed to have massive retirement party inside the Oslo City Hall.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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