Standing ovation at the end of the show
Sarah Dawn Finer

Sarah Dawn Finer

I quite liked Sarah Dawn Finer before seeing her last at the China Teatern. But that’s all changed, because I now LOVE her.

I first discovered her through Melodifestivalen. She performed her “power ballad”, I’m Moving On with passion and strength. And in true Melodifestivalen style, there was a great moment in her performance when she was raised from the stage for the song’s show stopping end.

In addition, I came to love her song, “Stockholm By Morning” (in particular), thanks to a performance from Swedish television which I saw on Youtube. As the song’s name might suggest it’s about travelling the world, but coming home to the person you love who lives in Stockholm.

It was her opening number at last night’s show. “There’s nothing like playing to a home town audience”, she said at the beginning. Or words to that effect. Although she sings in English, she speaks in Swedish, and sadly far too quickly for me to pick up most of what she said.

I picked up stories here and there though. She spoke early in the show about how wonderful it was to play “China Teatern”, a theatre she mostly associated with her friend, Peter Joback who was sitting in the audience with his boyfriend.

In a show that went for about 100 minutes (there was no interval by the way), she sang most of the songs from her two CDs. She also threw in a lovely refrain of “Keep On Walking” by Salem Al Fakir from this year’s Melodifestivalen leading into one of her own songs.

Throughout the show she sang everything from quiet ballads to “rock chick numbers”, and even did a bit “head banging” during a guitar solo.

I was so impressed with her showmanship. She seemed very at ease with the audience, and genuinely appreciated their warm response at the end.

My personal favourite songs were, of course, “Moving On” and “Stockholm By Morning”, but I was also really impressed with her performance of “I Don’t Need Your Love Song”. After performing “Moving On” as an encore, she came back for a second song which she performed half in Swedish.

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After the show I rang – and woke – my friend Graeme who is a big fan of Sarah Dawn Finer to tell him about how terrific the show was.

And then I went out and had a drink. The strangest thing about going out for a drink by yourself in a country where English isn’t the first language is that you sometimes lack a little confidence to strike up a conversation.

That wasn’t the case last night, when I introduced myself and tried to strike up a conversation in Swedish to the bloke standing next to me. After all that, he was German. So we spoke in English and had a good conversation and a drink or three.

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About James O'Brien

Forty-something from Sydney, Australia. My passions include: radio (my job), travel, genealogy, music, art, theatre, food, wine, and learning Swedish.

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