Saturday, May 1st, 2010
CONTEST – a-ha @ Massey Hall – May 10, 2010
Stian AndersenEveryone knows one a-ha song, or at the very least one video. Many who were around back in the day would probably know at least a second, as the follow-up single – a better song, in my opinion – also did pretty well. And if you’ve seen all the Bond films – including the underappreciated Timothy Dalton ones – then you know a third, as the Norwegian trio composed the theme for The Living Daylights. If your a-ha knowledge drops off precipitously at that point, then you probably live in North America where their popularity declined after their debut Hunting High & Low.
In the rest of the world, however, they remained stars and at their peak, played to crowds numbering in the hundreds of thousands. And while being big doesn’t necessarily make you good, going back and re-assessing their oeuvre reveals that some dated production values aside – the ’80s haven’t aged well for most – they’ve been remarkably consistent in turning out pop music that may lean towards the adult contemporary end of things, but is still impressively crafted and unfailingly melodic. And so they weren’t being ironic when they dubbed they announced they were bringing their career to a close and naming the farewell tour, “Ending On A High Note”, a globe-spanning jaunt that would include their first North American dates (excepting a one-off a few years ago) in decades. So while they’re not nearly as big here as in other places, there’s more than a little pent-up demand on this continent to see a-ha live.
Toronto is one of the four North American cities that will host their farewell shows, with the curtain coming on May 10 at Massey Hall. Tickets are still available from $25 to $55.50 (plus fees, of course) at Ticketmaster but courtesy of AEG Live, I have two pairs of tickets to give away to the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see a-ha” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, May 5.