Green Carnation - A Night Under the Dam (2007)
©Sublife Productions


  1. Child's Play [Part III] (4:32)
  2. Sweet Leaf (5:00)
  3. 9-29-045 (15:50)
  4. Alone (3:56)
  5. Maybe? (3:30)
  6. High Tide Waves (8:21)
  7. Transparent Me (5:16)
  8. Six Ribbons (3:52)
  9. The Burden is Mine... Alone (7:57)

Every once in a while you come across a DVD concert performance that captures not only your attention but also your imagination. I speak of Green Carnation’s release "A Night Under The Dam". I do not care who you are, this concert will be appealing to you. Be it a pop driven maniac or even a grandmother, Green Carnation manages to perform the Hell out of this one in a very simplistic way.

The title "A Night Under The Dam" in the least should be interesting enough to make one want to find out a little bit more. The show is performed under a dam in Norway. Hands down it is the most unique and beautiful set used in any concert I have ever seen. The dam, constructed entirely out of wood and concave in shape, swallows the band in its depths, in what I could imagine would most likely produce exceptional natural acoustics. It is such a clever set that you almost convince yourself that it was specifically built for the purpose of this performance.

I had the opportunity to ask Green Carnation’s bassist/vocalist Stein Roger Sordal about the set and location and this is what he shared with me:

“The dam concert was fantastic. The location was under a dam in a small place called Eikerapen; a few hours outside Kristiansand (Norway) where I live. It has a pretty famous root/folk music festival going and there are only 7 people and a dog living there. It’s a fantastic location on top of a mountain. In a few years the dam will be torn down and the place will be under water. It will be strange to tell my grandkids (if I make it that far) when we go out fishing, that we did a show at the bottom of the lake. I seem to remember that the place was guarded by the Nazis during WW2 'cause it controlled the water supply for that county. The place is very special and I did have the honor to play there in 2008 in a lavo/tent for 15 people (sold out, hehe) with great food and drinks and a bonfire”.

The concert plays all of the songs featured on Green Carnations last release "The Acoustic Verses" and EP "The Burden Is Mine… Alone". The entire band showcases themselves in an extremely classy fashion. Each clad in dark suits and ties, playing acoustic guitars (3 at once the majority of the time), drums, bass, keyboards and a group of 4 stringed instrument musicians for that key element of atmosphere.

I am not going to say that the performance was flawless. It certainly was not (what live performance is?). Once or twice you can hear a misplayed or out of place note to even one instance where I believe one of the cellos shifted or bumped against a chair (that’s my guess). Still, the band certainly makes up for it with a quality performance.

With all of the concerts released to video these days, one can easily deduce there is some heavy post-production editing to perfect the final product for sale. Not the case here. By leaving the faults in this concert I can only gather a sense of how pure this show is, which in turn makes it more charming and enjoyable. To me, that is what makes a show perfect. It is almost like you are really there and sometimes I caught myself nearly applauding after a song.

There were not too many cameras included in the making of this DVD. I did not do a count but I would say there were no more than 10. If there were a few more or at least some additional creative angles to capture the awe inspiring location, or more than one camera focused on the same part of the audience, it would have made this DVD concert even more amazing (which is hard to believe).

The sound produced by the Green Carnation members is top notch. For the others, including guest musicians, I found it a little lacking. For example, the significance of the cellos and violins on the album "The Acoustic Verses" were not as dramatic. That is, they were a little more difficult to hear in comparison to the rest of the instruments (and to the albums). The same goes for the violinist in the song "Maybe?" and the guest vocals of Anne Marie Almedal. If their volumes were better emphasized then it would have been more or less, perfect. However, I could not have a single complaint of the shared vocals and of Stein and Ann Marie in the closing song "The Burden Is Mine… Alone". Exceptional!

If you love DVD concerts and live performances then I cannot stress enough that you must have this one in your collection. "A Night Under The Dam" will not disappoint you. Depending on your mood it can be watched at the best and worst of times. Isn’t that one of the things music is all about?

***Tuff scale N/A



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