30 August 2013
A live performance by Page is a high-voltage affair. Energy and expectations fill the air before a note has been played – like the moment before lightning strikes. When the electricity starts to flow to Marina Schiptjenko’s keyboard and singer Eddie Bengtsson takes his microphone in hand, then the pop sparks really begin to fly. If you add a new album-worth of material to the mix, then both oscillators and dancing shoes are in for a serious work-out.
Page’s show at Gothenburg’s Electronic Summer festival was the first proper outing for the songs from their new album for Wonderland Records, Hemma (At Home). The roof-raising set began with the first single from Hemma, Som en skal (Like a Shell). The live version was faithful to the album mix, showing off the more mature sound that Page have successfully forged since Bengtsson and Schiptjenko revived their musical partnership. Two more songs from Hemma followed, lifting expectations even higher for future work. Ett S.O.S. (An SOS), taken from 2010’s Nu (Now), was more familiar and gave the fans a chance to sing along, with Bengtsson leaving lines for the faithful to fill in.
Jag står i din väg (I Stand in Your Way), with its pounding introduction, raised appreciative voices in the crowd, as well. En dag på zoo (A Day at the Zoo) sounded right up-to-date, as if it had been written in 2013; a timeless, dancefloor-friendly gem. Alla som väntar (Everyone Who Waits) from Nu showed off Page’s ability to deliver emotionally-charged material on stage. Som skjuten ur en kanon (Like a Cannonball) enhanced the nostalgia factor. Many in the crowd have been following Page and its members’ other projects for three decades, and these are the songs they fell in love to (and possibly divorced and remarried to – time flies, after all).
A rousing version of Förlåt (Sorry) showed why Page have such staying power: with its insistent rhythm track and a powerful vocal from Bengtsson, delivered in part on his knees, it pulls at the heart-strings while compelling movement. Back on his feet, Bengtsson then led the crowd through a frenetic and extended performance of Dansande man (Dancing Man), Page’s first single. Schiptjenko, resplendent in a sleeveless black dress and boots, dances between phrases, transported with the chanting crowd to the days when this was the in-house anthem of Sweden’s synth community.
This was how Page ended, back in 2000, when they performed their farewell at the SAMA awards. Tonight, however, they are called back to the stage by a crowd happily singing Mia & Tom before Bengtsson takes over. This is Page in the zone: a classy boy-meets-girl love song with a stunning melody. When they leave the space under the spotlights, it’s with a bow and a wave, but this round it’s not goodbye; it’s until next time.
Pictures of Marina Schiptjenko and Eddie Bengtsson by Markus Fagerberg; used under licence.