With their latest album, “Aeromantic,” freshly released to fans worldwide, it’s a shame to say that the NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA isn’t out touring at the moment. Nevertheless, fans were delighted to hear that they would stream a show on April 18th, 2020, hosted by The Tivoli in Helsingborg, Sweden, to keep fans appeased until tours can begin again.
The streaming page and chat opened up at 20:45 local time, with people from all over the world sending greetings from a huge variety of locations. Many people were encouraging others to donate as well, as this was a free show.
At 21:03, the stream went live, showing a dark stage with blue neon lights lighting up the background with the band’s name. They began with “Servants of the Air”; the sound quality was very crisp and clear, which helped to make up for the poor video quality. Bjorn Strid then got all of the hands at home clapping as they opened up one of the newest singles, “Divinyls.” Having seen these guys at On the Rocks in Helsinki at the end of 2018 for their debut Finnish show, the band was definitely playing well and while playing to an empty room is a challenge, the band acted just like always, working hard to get the people at home amped up.
There was nary a pause as they continued with “Living for the Nighttime,” a delightful throwback to their 2015 sophomore album, “Skyline Whispers.” David Andersson‘s solo was stylish as he rocked out and the women pulled out old-fashioned telephone receivers during the phonecall part of the song. We had a minor streaming hiccup during this song but the delay was only a handful of seconds.
The visual quality may have been poor but the organization of the stream was anything but. Donation banners appeared in appropriate intervals, not often enough to be annoying, and the cuts and movement of the cameras were very nicely done. After three songs, Strid greeted the viewers with hopes the next song would get them dancing: “This Boy’s Last Summer.” This song had a few more streaming hiccups – annoying but never so long as to be a real issue. They then stepped back to “Amber Galactic“ (2017) for another classic, “Something Mysterious.”
“Gemini” was an obvious highlight and the band didn’t miss a single beat pulling it off exquisitely, with the music video playing on the backing screen. Strid put on a golden cape for “Golden Swansdown,” which also featured the music video with Ella Snellman on the screen. The backing vocalists showed off the band’s reisling wine from Mikkeler Brewery and then the band got a little goofy chatting with one another before going into “Paralyzed,” another easy hit from the night.
“Can’t Be That Bad” was given a long synth intro and Strid introduced one of the new singles, “Transmissions.” By the time they played “Satellite,” Strid had switched from a largely white suit into a matching black version of what he had worn previously. They then had a bit of banter, reading some comments from viewers and then the band tried out their rum from the aforementioned brewery for the first try. They toasted the viewers and Strid asked for Andersson’s review of the rum, to which he responded “a tad spicy… but wonderful.” They read a few more comments (or tried as Strid had some trouble reading the hand-written page), seeing that someones had possibly gotten married during their show. Strid then announced the last song, “West Ruth Ave,” which needed a conga train from everyone at home, dogs included, and he encouraged people to video it and send it to them. Strid and the backing vocalists really let loose at the end and the song was a power-packed burst of fun, the cherry on top of an already fantastic sundae of a performance.
When NFO debuted in Finland, it was clear that their live shows were something to watch out for. On this night, the band proved that they can still serve up a great show even without a crowd in front of them. It was nice to hear some new material live, everything sounded tight, and the absence of the crowd at times offered a degree of intimacy when moments of the band just being themselves and goofing around popped up. It was a great way to spend a quarantine Saturday evening.
1. Servants of the Air
3. Living for the Nighttime
4. This Boy’s Last Summer
5. If Tonight is Our Only Chance
6. Something Mysterious
8. Golden Swansdown
10. Can’t Be That Bad
13. West Ruth Avenue
Written by Bear Wiseman