Oslo artists share their greatest musical experiences in Oslo

Norwegian artists share their greatest memories going to concerts in Oslo

Oslo houses countless talented artists, from A-ha to Madcon. We asked some of them about the greatest shows they've seen in this city.

We all start out somewhere. To evolve as a musician, you need to get out there and experience all types of music. And diverse musical experiences are easy to come by in Oslo, with its many different venues and thousands of shows each year.


Thea Glenton Raknes (Thea & The Wild) 

Thea Glenton Raknes

Photo: Indianer


Thea's tender indie-pop is a raw mix of Florence & The Machine and Roy Orbison, offering pleasant suprises around every corner.


– I have so many great memories from concerts in Oslo, like when I saw the legendary Buzzcocks down in what was then called Garage at Grensen in 2009. Or when Bombino joined Monica Heldal on stage at Norwegian Wood in 2015. Not to mention last year’s great show by Torshov band The Switch at Ingensteds, right by the Akerselva River. Short answer: Too hard to choose!


Kenneth Engebretsen

Kenneth Engebretsen
Photo: Samuel John Ditta


Kenneth is the authentic son of Oslo, and has been referred to as "the only real rapper in Norway" by magazine Natt&Dag. He communicates exclusively in UPPER-CASE LETTERS.


– My best concertgoer experience is probably my first one. I was still young. It was MC Hammer in Oslo Spektrum. It was special. To see MC Hammer in those pants, the size and the sound of Oslo Spektrum. Can’t wait to perform there. Haha. Not sure what year it was, but it was packed, and for a little boy it seemed even bigger than it actually is. And it is big. I also want to give a shout out to my friends Chirag and Magdi of Karpe Diem in Oslo Spektrum, that made quite an impression as well. 


And Kenneth has only one message to the music-lovers out there:


– Come to Oslo. Hehe.


Even Steine (Kid Astray)


Kid Astray
Photo: Christian Zervos

Guitarist Even Steine has, together with the rest of Kid Astray, captured hearts from Oslo to Osaka with a highly danceable brand of indie-pop.


– The band and I were lucky enough to be invited to play on the 2013 By:larm festival. Late one evening during the festival, we stumbled upon an early version of Emile the Duke (Norwegian rapper – ed.) performing at Mono. Back then he was rapping in English about business life and oslo town. He had with him an amazing band consisting of tight jazz musicians. The combination of rap, electric marimbas and Miami Vice-like synths was surprisingly effective.


– Since then, there’s been a handful of shows like that in Oslo, and it’s those kinds of concerts that stick with you for the rest of your life.


Sondre Lerche

Sondre Lerche
PLZ / Tiger Safari


Sondre Lerche has been a mainstay of Norwegian rock for over fifteen years, and is one of the country's most critically acclaimed artists, both live and in the studio.


– The first thing that comes to mind is Francis and the Lights at Parkteatret this summer. It was pure charisma, skill and confidence. A badass one-man show. And Parkteatret is the perfect venue for shows like that: intimate and elegant. 


Lars Lillo-Stenberg (deLillos)

Lars Lillo-Stenberg
Photo: kaia Means


Lars Lillo-Stenberg and his band deLillos is known all over Norway for their quirky and beautful songs paying tribute to the little things in life: from a nice summer day to maniac chefs.


– I was ten years old, and went to Jethro Tull at the (now defunct) Njård Hall in 1972. With Gentle Giant warming up. Jethro Tull were huge in 1972, almost Led Zeppelin- or Pink Floyd-huge. The guards lost all control, and I soon found myself standing right in fron of the stage. I could almost reach out and touch pianist John Evan. There were no barricades. I was floored. Frontman Ian Anderson was at his best, wearing some baffling clothes. He looked like a mix of a hobo and an upper-class character from a Shakespeare play, prancing around doing pirouettes and serving up virtuous flute solos I’ve never heard anyone else come close to replicating since.


Ingeborg Marie Mohn (No. 4)


No. 4
Photo: Anne Valeur

No. 4 is emerging as one of the most exciting new pop rock bands out of Norway right now, and are performing at a sold-out Sentrum Scene this autumn.


– The whole band attended a Rickie Lee Jones concert at Rockefeller last year. All three of us really like her, so we were really excited to see her. We were probably the youngest in attendance, and there weren’t a lot of people there to start with. It was magical! She really communicated with every audience-member, and we left Rockefeller that night with a lot of Rickie-merch.




Sigurd Wongraven and Kjetil Haraldstad (Satyricon)

Satyricon KLP
Photo: Didrick Stenersen/VisitOSLO


Satyricon are one of Norway’s biggest metal bands. And one of the pioneers of the genre black metal. They’re newest album Deep Calleth Upon Deep, just came out, and the band recently performed at the top of the KLP-building in Oslo’s Barcode-district.


– I'll have to mention my first Diamanda Galas-show, at Sentrum Scene in the 90s. That made a huge impression on me, says Haraldstad.


– Slayer at Rockefeller during the Reign in Blood tour. Also, strange shows like Candlemass and Atheist, together. That didn’t make sense. But it was a great show, says Wongraven



For a comprehensive overview of the concerts happening at all times in Oslo, check out VisitOSLO's What's On calendar for concerts.