FOTO: Thorsten Overgaard.
The SPOT Festival kicks off with a bang – two symphony orchestras and Yann Tiersen in one night.

Come rain or come shine, the 15th edition of the SPOT Festival has begun. And what a night it was - Ave with Odense Symphony Orchestra and Herning Boys Choir, Oh Land with Lyngby-Taarbæk Symphony Orchestra and Yann Tiersen.  

To starts things off musically was rock band Ave with Odense Symphony Orchestra and Herning Boys Choir at Musikhuset. Together they performed a brand new rock symphony written especially for the occasion. The concert hall (Store Sal) was packed with an anxious and excited crowd, all waiting to hear what the collaboration between rock band and symphony orchestra had to offer.

Though before the concert could begin, Gunnar Madsen, head of the SPOT Festival, held his welcome address in which he mentioned the slight schedule problem (the event began 15 minutes later than planned) and the rest of the night's schedule for the events at Musikhuset.
Neil McCormick, music correspondent for The Daily Telegraph and author, was introduced as the opening speaker and spoke about what makes SPOT a unique festival and the future of music.

Ave using typewriters as instruments. FOTO: Thorsten Overgaard.
When band and symphony orchestra become one
Ave with Odense Symphony Orchestra and Herning Boys Choir was an impressive sight. The whole stage was filled with musicians and their instruments – this was not a rock concert, but a rock symphony that the audience witnessed. With visuals to enhance the experience, the audience were in for a wild ride of dramatic and sorrowful songs.

In addition to using the more “traditional” instruments that one would expect of a symphony orchestra and a rock band, the typewriter was also added to one of the band's songs, adding a new dimension to the musical experience. Speaking of new dimensions, the fact that the whole symphony orchestra was wearing combat boots was quite the gimmick (dress pants in combat boots is something you do not see everyday).  

The concert ended with a standing ovation and it was clear to see that the band and conductor Bo Holten were relieved that their arrangements went over so well.

Next up was Oh Land with Lyngby-Taarbæk Symphony Orchestra in the beautiful Musikhusets Symfonisk Sal. Oh Land performed both her own songs as well as her mix of Ravel's Left Hand Concerto. Gone were all the usual electronic sounds that her music normally holds, replaced instead by the symphony orchestra. It really was quite an experience to listen to her songs without the electronic element that they normally possess.

A few songs into her set she was joined on stage by Claus Hempler who she performed a duet with. His appearance was definitely a crowd pleaser and the concert hall irrupted into cheers afterwards.

Yann Tiersen at Train - a real crowd pleaser. FOTO: Thorsten Overgaard.
Violent violins – Yann Tiersen at Train
Even though some decidedly nasty rain clouds had passed Aarhus, soaking the entire city in water, lots of people had still found their way to Train at 22.00.  And the venue was packed with people of all ages, all excited to see Yann Tiersen perform.

At almost exactly 22.00 the Frenchman and his band appeared on stage to everyone's delight. They  performed a guitar and noise filled set list, with enough energy to spur everyone in the audience on. People were dancing and really enjoying themselves.
When Yann Tiersen took to the stage with only his violin, cheers erupted from the audience – fans of the “Amélie” soundtrack got what they came for.