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Opening Night at Friends Arena

Svenska Ögonblick – The Swedish Blink of an Eye

Stockholm’s new Friends Arena opened last Saturday night with a show of probably more artists than I’ve seen in the last 5 years combined, all Swedish. Icona Pop, The Hives, First Aid Kit, Eagle Eye Cherry and Tomas Levin, to name a few. And a finale by the infamous Roxette

The arena, by far the largest in the country, seats up to 65,000 people. We sat in a corner, pretty high up. In these massive stadiums, I always feel like with one wrong step, I’ll topple head-over-heels through the rows of seats to the bottom, which would have been a pretty long fall on this occasion. Fortunately, there were no casualties that I know of. 

The invigning [inaguration] was a mix of pop hits of today, classics from years past, and a few traditional Swedish songs from musicals and the like. Overall, the show had a low tempo, broken by a few performers, but I think the idea was to appeal to all ages. And there certainly was something for everyone. Although I’m not sure there needed to be 3 songs in a row from the Swedish musical Duvemåla. Perhaps you need to be Swedish to appreciate it. 

At one point, the beloved crown princess Victoria appeared to welcome everyone to the spectacular show, and stood on a small stage right below us. All around, it was a pretty cool performance, and a glimpse into Swedish culture through the decades.

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