On Saturday 28th of October 2023, history was written at Blekingska Nation when Terra came and tore the place to pieces. I was there for the ride and, in regular fashion, I’m here to share my opinions on it.
Firstly, some background. In previous articles I’ve proclaimed my love for indie rock and discussed that it’s on its way back. Thus, when I recently stumbled onto the Gothenburg-based band Terra, it was love at first… listening? With their unique indie-rock sound, the band has since their debut album “Terrarism” in 2016, garnered a fairly large dedicated fanbase. I would personally describe their music as an estranged, Swedish lovechild of Weezer, and it’s brilliant. For my birthday this year, Terra decided to surprise me with the release of their third studio album: “Livslinjen”. In connection to this there would be a release tour which would pass by Blekingska Nation. As if seeing my newly found favourite band was not enough, Terra proved to be the gift that keeps on giving and announced that they would bring the band Sjuk Hus as their opening act, fronted by my favourite, allegedly retired, comedian: Marcus Bergren. Clearly, this was an event I was not going to miss out on.
We were let in around 22:45 and took our place in front of the stage. Regarding my opinions about Blekingska Nation and my roast of their pub in my previous article, I’d like to announce that everything is forgiven. While I maintain that the premises aren’t optimal for a pub and that more can be done when used as such, that is majorly outweighed by how great they are for live performances. You feel really close to the stage and there is a sort of connection to the performer that is rarely experienced elsewhere.
After half an hour or so of chatting and drinking beer, it was finally time for the opening act: Sjuk Hus with frontman Marcus Berggren. Marcus Berggren has long been a popular stand-up comedian in Sweden but announced after his last show that he would take an indefinite hiatus from it. Since then, he has written a collection of poems, had a few vernissages and released some music, among much else. Now, it’s difficult to judge whether this is an honest attempt to become a legitimate musician or if it’s just another side project, but it’s definitely fun to see how it develops. Despite not being a musician mainly, the act was surprisingly good. They opened with the song “Kode Korsväg”, went through a bit more of their discography such as “Tjack och CS” and finished with the classic “Hökens Gata Hustler”, where Marcus played the final riffs laying on his back. The only drawback was that the sound was not very good, but as long as the band mediates a feeling, sound isn’t very important. And mediate a feeling they did. One could say that Sjuk Hus’ set was entirely built on feeling.
Marcus eventually went off and joined us in the audience wanting to see Terra himself. Rumour has it that he was their guitarist in the beginning, but whether this is true or not I can neither confirm or deny. The wait was quite long before Terra finally entered the stage, but very worth it. They have been called “Sweden’s most underrated band” by Café, and truer words haven’t been spoken. Terra completely obliterated this gig and the audience was spellbound from the first stroke on the guitar ‘til the last. They went through all their classics such as “Kackerlacka”, “Din spegel”, “Ingenting om dig” and the recent “Terra”, with raw and captivating energy. Perhaps the best thing about their performance was how clearly visible it was that they enjoyed performing for us just as much as we enjoyed watching them. This mediated a great feeling within the audience and being a part of it felt like being a part of one big organism moved by their immense presence on stage. Needless to say, one was entranced. Besides mediating a feeling, the sound had also been fixed for when Terra came up on the stage which was a nice addition. The gig went on for about an hour but due to a lack of perception of time, it felt like 10 minutes. When they were done, you were eager for more.
In a time where we’re starved of new indie rock, especially in Swedish, Terra comes as a saving grace revving on all cylinders. It’s truly a marvel to behold and I recommend everyone to give them a listen, and especially to go see them live. They absolutely deserve the attention.
To summarise the night: I got a signed vinyl copy of their album “Underbara saker”, got to enjoy two great bands and my friend received a snus and a hug from Marcus Berggren. All in all, Blekingska delivered, Sjuk Hus delivered and Terra obliterated. The combination of the three resulted in an event that can’t be rated anything other than 10/10.