Norwegian five-piece HIGHASAKITE may not be a household name in the UK however back in their homeland their sales numbers stand against the likes of global juggernauts Coldplay and Adele. In 2016 they released their highly anticipated record Camp Echo while Silent Treatment continued to sit in the Norwegian top 40 two years after its release.
A band accustomed to selling out arenas and tours around Europe and the US, tonight they find themselves in the far more modest setting of Heaven in London. The venue is still packed to the rafters with displaced Scandis and Brits clearly in the know. As the foreboding opening tones begin and the stage illuminates like a prison in a Die Hard movie, the air chills to match the climes of the band’s native Norway.
As the lights whir during the piercing ‘My Name is Liar’ you appreciate the stature and spectacle of this band. The theatrics of their production and intelligently designed lightning enhance the bombastic synth of ‘Camp Echo’. ‘Chernobyl’ is a deafening, dark piece of synth pop as lead vocalist Ingrid Håvik stands silhouetted against search lights, delivering chorus notes as powerful as a nuclear explosion. Singles including ‘Samurai Swords’ and ‘Someone Who’ll Get It’ are some of the finest examples of powerful Scandinavian pop released this year and they harbour new energy when allowed to breath onstage.
Although the propelling, rushing synth stylings of ‘Deep Sea Diver’ are spectacular to witness within a confined space, emotive cuts such as ‘God Don’t Leave Me’ and a cover of Bon Iver’s ‘Heavenly Father’ are indisputably more affecting. The entire room watches in awe as the band hold tension in the most appropriate of moments before releasing emotion through a multi-instrumental crescendo that is utterly overwhelming.
A ‘Golden Ticket’/’Since Last Wednesday’ double A-game closer finishes this spectacular headline performance in a fittingly euphoric manner, it’s easy to see how this tour has translated to some of the largest festival stages and venues across Europe this summer. The five piece operate faultlessly, blending old and new material with aptly Scandinavian efficiency. The London crowd were treated this evening to a show built for tens of thousands, delivered to a lucky few.