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Saturday, May 22, 2010


I was lucky enough to catch a-ha in concert as part of their "Ending On A High Note" tour at Massey Hall in Toronto on May 10th, 2010. I have been a long time fan of the trio and decided I wanted to see them in concert and it was definitely worth the trip to Toronto to see them.

I arrived at the venue a bit early and found a crowd of fans around one of the stage doors and heard stories of how they had recently arrived at the venue and that Paul and Mags had stopped to sign a few things for people but that Morten said he would do that later. I was fun chatting with a few fans, one guy had waited for 14 hours at the Toronto airport only to miss them arriving in the city because he waited in the wrong terminal. I entered the famous Massey Hall and took my seat (fifth row centre isle) and waited for the concert to begin after the short set by opener Ray Materick.

Tchaikovsky's "Serenade in C major" started up as their intro music and the large video screen at the back of the stage ran various black and white cartoon drawing images of the band, then Paul, Mags and Morten entered to great applause. They started with the title track from their latest cd "Foot Of The Mountain" and basically played all their best songs in reverse chronological order (see full set-list below). Morten had an early false start on either The Bandstand or Analogue and cracked a smile with Magne once he realized his mistake. The band sounded great and was helped out with a drummer and keyboard player. Morten's voice was in top form which was nice as he has had some problems with it in earlier stages of the farewell tour (he managed the long sustained note in "Summer Moved On" with no problems). A couple of times Magne came out from behind his keyboard to encourage the crowd and even played some drums during one song (Morten also played electronic drums during "Bandtsand"). Mid set the guys got together in the center of the stage and performed "And You Tell Me" and "Early Morning" acoustically without the backing band. Ending with "Cry Wolf" the band left the stage and a nice video retrospective played on the screen, then the band returned to play out the final songs which were "The Sun Always Shines on TV" (during which a montage of old American movies and TV shows was projected on the video screen), "Hunting High And Low" and left the stage and came back to close the show with a great version of their best known hit "Take On Me". I managed to video tape the last song and you can watch it below.

After the concert I noticed a large crowd at the main stage door waiting to try and meet the guys. I walked around to the other side of the building where there was another smaller crowd and a couple of black vehicles waiting so I decided that this was probably the best place to stay and try and meet them. Paul came out first and I got his signature on my "Hunting High & Low" cd booklet. Magne followed and again I got the autograph I wanted. Lastly Morten came out and he said he would sign things first then take photos with fans (he must have spent at least 25 minutes with the fans). Got the final signature on the cd booklet and then thought I might as well get a pic with Morten also so I waited a bit longer and got a photo with him.

It was amazing to finally see the band live and meeting them briefly after the gig was a nice way to end the evening.

a-ha Massey Hall Toronto May 10th, 2010


8:45 pm - Tchaikovsky's "Serenade in C major" intro

1. Foot Of The Mountain
2. The Bandstand
3. Analogue
4. Forever Not Yours
5. Minor Earth, Major Sky
6. Summer Moved On
7. Move To Memphis
8. The Blood That Moves The Body
9. Stay On These Roads
10. The Living Daylights
11. Scoundrel Days
12. The Swing Of Things
13. And You Tell Me (acoustic)
14. Early Morning (acoustic)
15. We're Looking For The Whales
16. Manhattan Skyline
17. I've Been Losing You
18. Cry Wolf
-- Video Retrospective 10:00 pm
19. The Sun Always Shines On TV
20. Hunting High And Low
21. Take On Me
ended 10:25

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