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Return - Stage Dolls
Stangehallen, Stange, Norway - Saturday December 3, 2005

Jungle Balls is going to be a tradition I guess as this is the second year in a row Return have invited Stage Dolls and a handful of local bands to do a night of rock music before christmas. I missed the first few bands, so the first band I saw this night was the local band Mesmeric Voice which also played last year. I think they sounded better now and they played only original songs (I guess). It’s still melodic heavy metal and it’s well performed both instrumentally and vocally. I would like to see this band do an album one day.

Next up was a local band which also played at this happening last year, Crazy Nutz. It’s still rock ‘n’ roll/punk, some own songs and the rest was cover songs. The band plays good, but the music is not my cup of tea so it gives me nothing (sorry, J.C.).

Then it was time for Stage Dolls, a band I’ve seen quite a few times the last couple of years. It’s been nearly two years since the latest studio album, so I hoped for a new song or two, but sadly no. It’s sad because Stage Dolls is a great band and should keep writing and play new material, but there’s been many years between the studio albums lately from these guys. On the other hand you know what to expect on a Stage Dolls concert, so you won’t be dissapointed as the classic songs comes one by one like pearls on a string. But this night Stage Dolls was playing like pushing the auto-pilot button. Nothing special, the same old twists and turns. The approximately 45 minutes they was wandering the stage was enough for me.

The four guys from the neighbourhood, also known as Return was going to end the night like last year. Return is a band that I think have done better and better since their comeback in 2000, and that’s very positive as the band deserved to be remembered as a great performing rock band, not only because of the many ballad-hits they topped the charts with in Norway back in the 80’s and early 90’s.

After a couple of songs they brought long-time friend and prevously hired member of the band Henning Ramseth on stage as extra guitarist (for this gig only), and with the addional new keyboardist Magnus Ostvang they happened to be a six-piece band that rocked the crowed like never before. The time was running quick this night, so Return had to shorten their set and had to ommit their latest single “Save The Heart” and a few other songs from the set-list. But they had a surprise for the final song of the night after the obligatoric “Bye Bye Johnny”. A Scottish dressed man with a bag pipe entered the stage playing the tones of “Amazing Grace”. Knut Erik sang the lyrics and the mood was as nice as it could be this night (but I still want them to play “More More More”…).

Set-list - Stage Dolls:

Love Cries
Hard To Say Goodbye
You’re The One
Left Foot Boogie
Sorry (Is All I Can Say)
Love Don’t Bother Me
Wings Of Steel
Still In Love
Soldier’s Gun

Set-list - Return:

Every Little Step
Walk It Like You Talk It
To The Top
Sing Me A Song
United In A Scream
Still Waiting
Take This Heart
Holy Water
Change The Attitude
Having Fun
Bye Bye Johnny
Amazing Grace

Review and photos by Per Erik Jansen

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