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Mando Diao at Kulturbolaget in Malmö, Sweden

Pictures and coverage by Joseph Miller

Looking at the old gig posters on the walls inside Kulturbolaget, you can feel the history of the
venue, something that’s lost in the large arenas and modern day music halls these days.
Van Morrison, The Pogues and Royal Blood are just a few of the names that have sweated
relentlessly under the beaming rays of the stage lights at this venue, the latter of which I was
present for and have frequently caught some of the best bands from all genres since at this
venue.


This time, it’s one of the darlings of Swedish alternative rock and homage is paid in abundance
by the crowd to the returning heroes of leather jackets, slicked back hair and neck vein popping
rockers, Mando Diao.
A sold out venue can only mean one thing in this room. If you need the restroom, do it before
the show, well in advance. Squeezing through the sardines packed into this musical tin is a
slippery trick only the thinnest of creatures can succeed in doing.
I wasn’t about to try. When the adrenaline of shooting a live band kicks in, even the news of
your house and all of it’s belongings being repossessed would be secondary to the task ahead.
The audience gestures with a reverent, ‘above the head hand clap’ at the end note to each
song. A sentiment of of just how high in regard Mando are held with the hardcore following, front
row and to the entrance doors.


The setlist included song, ‘One Last Fire’, which gets the crowd smiling like a small child getting
his or her stolen candy returned to them. If that wasn’t enough, they’re about to get a big fat
bowl of candy in the shape of ‘Down in the Past’, shoved down their throats and the crowd are
happy for the sugar rush of high impulse entertainment.


Frontman, Björn Dixgård, is feeling the heat and by the third song of the bands’ set, his leather
jacket is thrown to one side, revealing a sodden t-shirt, gasping for air. A few songs later and
the t-shirt has drowned in sweat and Björn is down to skins.
The front row of mainly adoring female fans, are not about to be looking for the exit doors in a
hurry. They’ll gladly hang around in case some other items of clothing fall victim to the heat on
stage.
Their hopes were in vain.

‘How We Walk’ and ‘Mr Moon’ keep the mood swinging and the band are throwing lyrical
punches in all directions. The audience takes their blows, but they still come back for more. I’m
happy to stand around ringside too, with no signs of any of us throwing in the towel just yet.
Mando Diao are on tour for the next couple of months and sure to excite fans new and old
wherever they strut their stuff!
Support for the night came from Stockholm based, Joe And The Anchor, who delivered an
atmospheric pop sound, mixed with a colorful production from start to finish. The band enjoyed
themselves on stage and it was clearly evident, these guys get a kick out of what they do for a
living.


Some hooky pop tunes mixed with some fun crowd interaction, laid the perfect foundations to a
night that will live long in the memory for this Malmö crowd.
Now, where’s the restroom?

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