Kim Larsen

Tivoli, Copenhagen - 2018

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

You can’t really call it a Danish summer, until you’ve had an open air show by Kim Larsen & Kjukken.
2018 definitely offered up the best summer in ages in Denmark, and true to tradition, Tivoli in Copenhagen had the artist and band booked for one of their Fredagsrock events. This was not to be missed, that’s for sure!

Well, some people had to miss it, sadly. The interest for this show was so great in fact, that Tivoli had to close the gates hours in advance of the show, because the park was simply filling up beyond all reason! There was an inner circle created for this show, which shows Tivoli had a good idea what would happen, but even in there, it was truly packed! Incredible!
If it was this support that did it or not, is not to say, but when Kim Larsen walked out on stage, there was a vitality and energy about him, that we haven’t seen for a long time. Sure, he still supports himself with a cane when walking, and he still has his chair for the concert, but you could see it in his eyes, and hear it in his voice - the man was still very much alive and kicking.
The band, too, was of course a great part of the show.

“We’re going to have a change of scenery here, for an open curtain.”
- Kim Larsen (vocals/guitar)


On thing that was quite nice to see, was that the band had clearly thought about the way they would deliver the performance. The setlist looked a lot like it has in the recent years, and the comments between songs were also recognisable, but they added this new thing, where they changed the entire setup in the band.
Opening the show, it was the usual setup for a rock show, and the setup we’ve been used to seeing from Kim Larsen & Kjukken as well. It’s not like they don’t move around, especially Karsten Skovgaard and Jesper Haugaard are very active in their delivery, but the musicians are spread out, and it’s mostly individual delivery, as in this guy’s standing over here and another guy is standing over there - this sort of deal.
What was interesting about this show, was that firstly, the setlist was set up in a special way, and secondly, so was the band.
Most of the calmer songs were mashed together in the middle of the set - now, I’m usually a spokesperson for mixing things up, getting the best dynamics out of it, but what this tracklisting opened up for was what they did here. When reaching Hvis Din Far Gir Dig Lov, the band huddled together at the middle of the stage, Haugaard changed his electric bass for a double bass, our three guitarists changed their instruments for acoustic versions, and Jens Langhorn joined the rest at the front of the stage, now playing on congas and other minor-sized percussion instruments.
This gave the whole thing a more intimate atmosphere, and worked perfectly with the songs chosen for this section. It also gave the show as a whole a nice break, keeping things more interesting than if they’d just played with the same setup the whole way through.
Later, the songs would once again pick up the pace, and the band would return to their original setup for the remainder of the set.

What also helped the show along, was the damn near perfect sound that Tivoli had managed for this concert. Tivoli is usually pretty good at this, as far as I remember, but this night it was above and beyond anything I had expected. Fair’s fair, I had managed to get into the inner circle, and was placed straight in front of the stage, yet some rows back. This is usually the optimal place soundways, but still, I was positively amazed.
What was also amazing, albeit not as surprising, was the reaction from the huge crowd. I’ve already mentioned the fact that Tivoli had to close their gates, due to the enormous amount of people wanting in. What you need to understand here, is that tickets are not sold specifically for the show (well, the inner circle tickets were, but that’s a different deal), which means you pay your admission for the park, and then you’re good to go. Hence you can’t secure a spot beforehand, but can only show up in good time, and hope for the best. And sadly, a lot of people had to be turned away, as Tivoli literally was filled up hours in advance.
Those who got in though, they gave the folk-rock legend their all in appreciation. Cheering and applause accompanied every single song, just as every single song was strengthened by the vocal participation of the audience. Classics like Det Bedste Til Mig Og Mine Venner, Blip Båt, and Midt om Natten were of course the loudest ones, but they all got some amount of love.

The most love was given to Kim Larsen and his band though, on this beautiful and warm summer night. Tivoli was a perfect frame for this show, and it was a perfect summer concert.
P.S. Kim Larsen passed on Sept. 30, 2018. It's hard to know if we could and would have liked this concert more, had we known we'd never be able to see him again. We are truly saddened by his passing however, and feel that the Danish music scene has surely lost one of its greatest icons. D.S.

Setlist:

Det Er I Dag Et Vejr
Tarzan Mama Mia
Christianshavns Kanal
De Smukke Unge Mennesker
Nostalgi
Kloden Drejer Stille Rundt (Gasolin’ cover)
Vinternat
Det Bedste Til Mig Og Mine Venner (Gasolin’ cover)
Gør Mig Lykkelig
Hvis Din Far Gir Dig Lov
Blip Båt
Hvad Mon De Siger
Pianomand
Byens Hotel
En Gammeldags Mand
Moder Jord
Natten Er Blid
Køb Bananer
This Is My Life (Gasolin’ cover)
Rabalderstræde (Gasolin’ cover)
Midt Om Natten
Sammen & Hver For Sig
Fru Sauterne
Langebro (Gasolin’ cover)

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