I have collected some interesting stories retold by fans to share with you.
If you have anything to share with us, please send me an email and I will be very happy to introduce you as one of the most die-hard fans of MLTR on my page. Thanks
Now let's see what MLTR's fans say about their idol
|Posted on July 12, 2012 at 12:20 AM||comments (8)|
As the band came onto the stage, to the cheer of a few hundred people in the audience, I suddenly recalled a flash of images, from when I was around 8-10 years old, of a music video for one of the band’s classic songs – ‘Sleeping child’. Looking around, it seemed that the majority of the people in the audience had been teenagers when Michael Learns to Rock (MLTR) were at the peak of their career, in the early to midnineties. As such, the predominant sentiment at work during the concert was a kind of nostalgia, memories of discovering the soft-pop-rock ballads of MLTR at the impressionable age of 16 and now reminiscing about those days while the band played the sound track to those memories, live. To complete the experience, the fans sang along with the band to the oldies, whose simple, catchy, rhythmic and emotionally packed lyrics always had a quality of imprinting themselves quite quickly in the minds of listeners.
It felt like a special moment for the band as well. The lead singer, Jascha Richter, said at one point ‘I see you guys know who we are. So now, we would like to know who you are.’ It is MLTR’s first time in Bangladesh, and finding a fan base that had a lot of the lyrics memorized must have been quite a trip for the band. Later on, while singing a soft romantic ballad, Jascha Richter came off stage and walked around the hall, between rows of fans, shaking hands with some and simply singing into the eyes of others. Jascha must have been quite aware that MLTR’s melodic compositions over the last two decades have left quite an impression among Asian listeners, in Bangladesh as well. Thus, walking amongst the audience, he seemed quite comfortable as he could obviously feel that he was among fans. The evening mostly featured the band’s old songs, like ‘The Actor’, ‘Complicated Heart’, ‘Naked like the Moon’, with a few new tracks from their latest album ‘Scandinavia’.
The four member band had impeccable chemistry between themselves, which showed itself as perfectly played tunes in flawless rhythm. Given that they have been doing this for 20 years, there were no surprises there of course. But it is always a pleasure to watch a tight band that knows what it's doing. In the later half of the show, MLTR played a song with a local singer Fatiha Zahir Pola, winner of the song competition ‘Sing with MLTR’ hosted by Channel 9. The lucky lady entered the stage, understandably nervous, as the first few notes from her voice emerged a bit shaky. However, she fell into the swing soon enough and delivered a heartwarming performance that she will most definitely remember for the rest of her life.
The show ended and everyone returned from the soothing ride down memory lane, to realize again that they are still in Dhaka, where such experiences are indeed a rarity. The realization does dampen the spirit a little, but also leaves hope that more such internationally acclaimed acts and bands will come through our city in the near future. The organizers of the show deserve applaud in this context. And a resounding ‘Thank you’ should be conveyed to MLTR for gifting their loyal fans with a memorable performance.
(Written by Farhan Ahmed)
|Posted on July 12, 2012 at 12:10 AM||comments (0)|
It's been forever since I posted on my blog. Time really flies and I don't know what I've done with all that time. Or if I've done too much. I do miss my blog these days and I want to post something, though I don't know if anyone ever reads it :). So I changed the blog's design a little, just to get some inspiration. I made it look simpler, to be exact. Maybe simpler is better. Or, as a slogan of a product that my favorite Chinese actor once was the model for, "simple is cool".
Right when I wanted to post something, I checked the website www.mltr.dk and saw something new. FYI, that's the website of the Danish band Michael Learns To Rock. They've been my favorite band forever. I've listened to their music since I was a high schooler. Now I'm married with kids and I'm still in love with their music. Actually, I'm not a music fan. I prefer movies and books. I'm not really interested in any kind of music. But I love MLTR's songs. Basically because of their simplicity. The tunes are simple and the lyrics are too. But those simple words are incredibly beautiful. And they always, always have some meanings. If you're in the US, you may not know this band, but we in Asia are so familiar with MLTR's lovely songs like "Sleeping Child", "Paint My Love", "That'sWhy" etc. I grew up listening to those songs, which must have been 10-20 years old. Many years have passed, but until today, I sometimes still findmyself humming the tunes of their old songs like "Judgement Day","Love Will Never Lie", "Complicated Heart", "The Actor" and so on. Sometimes in this busy life, I don't think of them as much as I used to. But MLTR forever has a place in my heart and every time I hear their songs somewhere, I still can't stop smiling. It's so nostalgic and sentimental to hear their songs sometimes in some stores I walk in. That really brings up a lot of memories and believe me, MLTR's songs always make your walk a little slower so you can enjoy the simple beauties around...
The later songs of MLTR are also very good, like "Take Me To YourHeart" or "Blue Night", but unfortunately I've never had time tolisten to them as much as I did with their old songs. I even listened to Jascha Richter's solo album "Planet Blue" (Jascha Richter is the lead vocal of the band) for a while, but as I said, I listened to the songs not much enough to let them remain in my heart like the old ones. You can't believe how much I listened to their old albums. I listened to them all day, all night.Thousands of times, I guess. I remembered every tune and every word in their old albums "Michael Learns To Rock", "Colours","Played on Pepper", "The Greatest Hits". I love each member of the band too. Jascha, to me, is always the shy guy. A private family man. He's so artist-y and he's the genius, who I've been admiring a lot. I always think that he's the one who loves to stay alone in a room to think and create; and it'd be a sin if anyone tries to disturb him. I don't know if that's true but that's what my imagination tells me. Kaare Wanscher is my favorite type of guys with his lovely smile to everyone. His smile is so bright and it can light up a room. He seems to be friendly, down-to-earth and nice, the one that can bring joy wherever he comes. I read that he's now also working as an advocate. That's amazing. On stage, Kaare is always the one who stays a bit behind because he plays drums. But Kaare, you don't know how much attention you've got, though you always take the farthest place on stage :).Kaare looks like he's always passionate and enthusiastic about what he's doing. I do really love him. Mikkel Lentz, the guitarist of the band, is the cool type. He's so very friendly too and I think the talents come to him sonaturally. It seems like he never has to try too hard because he's a natural artist. I mean, it's like he was born with talents. When he plays his guitar, it looks like he puts all his mind, heart and soul into it. I really, really love this trio and I do wish the best for them always. They deserve that.
Back to "something new" that I found on the website of MLTR. They've just released a new video with their new song "Any Way You Want It". If you have time and want something fresh, please head over this address (theirofficial YouTube channel, I think) to see the video.
There you can enjoy some great music and, if you want, you will see the three great guys I wrote about. And you may fall in love with Kaare's smile too :).
One of the wonderful things about this video is that there're some images of Nepal, an attractive country to me. I read some bits about this country in the book "Into Thin Air" (Jon Krakauer), one of the best books I've ever read. It's about the disaster on Mt. Everest and Nepal was mentioned a bit. Not much at all, but it did make me feel that Nepal is appealing in a mystical way. Seeing a MLTR's live concert in Nepal? Oh, that should be a beautiful experience. Yes, I saw MLTR-in-concert once (NOT in Nepal of course), a very long time ago, and I do hope to do that once more. Never know if I can see them in person ever again, but let's keep hope alive anyway
(Written by Kim Anh)
|Posted on December 5, 2011 at 10:30 AM||comments (0)|
It was a cold November evening in Kathmandu, when a charismatic and heavily husky-voiced Nepali pop-cum-rock star, Sabin Rai, finally sang his last song to hand over control to the Masters-of-Ceremony Prosen and Malvika once again. And this time, the duo duly looked over the ushering in of a blue ambience, with the image of a revolving globe on the background screen and the Mikkel Lentz-produced 'Eternity' theme slowly gathering steam. Then amidst the smoke, even as the 'Salvation' tune played, appeared the four Viking guys one after the other. Mikkel, clad in a dark brown suit, waved to the crowd, while Kare settled behind his drum-kit and Jascha in a white suit took position at his keyboard, wearing red coloured glasses, probably, a throwback to the good old days of Colours and Played On Pepper. MLTR launched immediately into (this time) the full-blown intro of 'Salvation'.
Initially, it felt like the sound was a little weak - either Jascha could not hear the other instruments properly or the surround was not effective, but to me it just felt like something was amiss, a little out of tune (Interestingly, when I listen to the videos on youtube, everything seems perfectly alright, which is a good thing!). When Salvation had been done and dusted with, Jascha said, "The next song is for the child...inside of every man.", and 'Sleeping Child' commenced accompanied by a very very loud cheer. The sound, according to me, was still a little shaky. This time though, the crowd, which had been mostly oblivious to the lyrics of Salvation, suddenly found its feet, crooning away with Jascha, even when the sound system totally misbehaved and blanked Jascha's vocals for a line or two.
At the end of it, Jascha said, "It's really amazing... to travel so far away to Nepal. You really, guys, know all our lyrics and our songs. That's fantastic." 'Love Will Never Lie' was on next, and during the second verse Jascha was clearly displeased with the sound, making an animated gesture to the sound guy, and when the second verse had been sung, it all started to seem to be alright, at least that's what Jascha's thumbs-up to the sound engineer and the increased volume of Jascha's vocals would have signified. Jascha played a flowing piano section in the end, by which my friend Rajiv was completely enamoured and had tears in his eyes. They proceeded to play 'It's Only Love' at the end of which Jascha said, "This is a song which we don't play often. we have just started playing it in the last few concerts."
Jascha then said, "The next song is very popular on Youtube...it's a Youtube hit.', and people started guessing a lot of names, but it was clear, however, that it was going to be 'It's Gonna Make Sense'. Again, only a handful of people knew the lyrics to this song, which was good because it ensured that when Mikkel launched into a guitar solo just after the bridge, it could be heard clearly. I could, meanwhile, see Kare totally immersed in singing the lyrics to this song. Next, Jascha left his keyboards and slung an acoustic guitar around his neck, and shouted on the mic, "I am not able to see you guys. Are you there?... It's also a bit difficult to hear you guys at the back. Are you there?" And the rocking intro to 'Something You Should Know' ensued. In the song, I could hear a lot of improvisations, especially in the lead guitar riff, and in the bass line as well. Also the 'uh hu hu hu' at the end of the line 'because I miss you so' was a little different from the original. Mikkel again showed a glimpse of his guitar skills, when he improvised on the original guitar solo, with the distinctly different riff continuing. When that had ended, Jascha handing away his guitar, joked, "I don't play the guitar. You probably heard that." , to some more chuckles from the audience.
Jascha then continued, "The next song is very old song, and it is very special to Michael Learns To Rock. This song is what made MLTR famous a very long time ago...and it goes like this." And sure enough, it was 'The Actor', to which a fair part of the crowd sang along. After that, the rest of the band disappeared and Jascha remained on the keyboard, telling the crowd the reason as to why the former had left, "They are all old...And I am young." which was met with peals of laughter. He went on to play 'Naked Like The Moon'. Jascha played the chord a trifle late at the beginning of the second verse, and it was becoming clear that he was discomfited by something, possibly a cough, but he braved on without showing it, and at the end of it, he made a gesticulation of wiping his forehead and heaving a huge sigh of relief with a child-like quality to it. And then he disappeared too. (We would later see Jascha having to cope with bouts of cough a couple of times, which he masked or gave vent to by going to the back end of the stage when he had had the chance.)
If one has followed the pattern of MLTR's past concerts, then he/she would already get a feeling that Jascha plays solo on the piano exactly mid-way through, but we had been only 6-7 songs through when this happened and that planted a doubt in my mind as to whether this was not going to be a short set. All doubts were quelled though when the trio of Mikkel, Kare and the bassist returned to a smokey stage that warmed up to the ambient intro of 'Take Off Your Clothes' followed shortly by a bass riff that sounded a little different to the original one in the song (guess it was a direct consequence of the inclusion of a new bassist). And while we were anticipating the first words of the song, surprise surprise! Mikkel unleashed a mad-cap, almost 'metallic', lead guitar solo which was a little but not quite similar to the original solo, even as a part of the crowd, including myself, went completely berserk, and meanwhile Kare thumped away relentlessly at the drums and the bassist slapped away vigorously at his bass guitar. It was a 'jam' right in the middle of a supposedly 'pop' band's gig. Before long, the jam had ended to seamlessly make way for the intro of 'Hot To Handle', once again, with a refreshingly different lead guitar and bass-riffs. By this time, though, Jascha was back on stage, this time in a dark suit, with just a cordless microphone in hand. He came to the edge of the stage and as he sang the first verse, he swayed, jigged with his feet and snapped his fingers a-la performers in the 'American Idol' series. After just one verse and chorus, Jascha went back to the keyboard while the backing track seamlessly shifted to the intro of 'Animals'. This time, Jascha sang just the opening lines (which actually is also the chorus) and the bridge - 'in the name of progress, everybody's gone too far...", only for the backing track to shift yet again seamlessly to the intro of 'Blue Night'. Again, Jascha sang only the first verse and first chorus. It was a medley.
The madness (in a good way) then stopped, and Jascha announced, "The next song is from our forthcoming album which we are going to release in the Spring of next year, and which we are also shooting a music video for. Yesterday, we were running around in the streets of Kathmandu shooting for it. It's called 'Anyway You Want It'. We need your help today to shoot the video...Let's make a video, a music video, OK?", and the crowd was only very willing to oblige. We waved our hands and swayed in our places, while two professional cameramen shot away on stage and one of them also came down to the midst of the crowd to shoot a bit. The song was a pleasant, upbeat, although mid-tempo, rock ballad, much reminiscent of Sweetest Surprise, with a soulful short guitar solo. It also had Jascha letting out an 'exultant' scream at the end of the bridge. It must be really good in the studio version.
Jascha then thanked the crowd for their help, and went on to introduce the bassist, "You know, in our band we are just four guys. By the way, let me present to you a guy called Lars, playing the bass tonight. It's actually the first time that Lars is playing with this band...We think that less means more...This is a song with very few instruments, an acoustic guitar only and drums." It was time for 'I'm Gonna Be Around', during which Jascha, after having threatened to descend the stage many times before, finally did so to walk down the aisle jutting into the crowd.
The next song on the set was 'Complicated Heart' which, again, most of the crowd seemed to know the lyrics to. This song was exactly as we have heard in all the previous live versions. The song then gave way to 'Nothing To Lose' which also had a fairly good response from the crowd. I had never heard a live version of this song, so it was fresh for a change. Then came 'Angel Eyes' that lifted the tempo again. Then lo and behold, another song that I had never heard a live version of, rolled out - 'How Many Hours'. This was followed by Jascha saying, "The next song is a Chinese song.", and even as the intro ensued, the crowed roared in joy to start singing 'Take Me To Your Heart', another popular hit in Nepal. By the end of it people had started yelling, 'Someday! Someday! Someday!' given some tough competition by chants of 'Paint My Love! Paint My Love! Paint My Love!' as well as chants of 'Once more! Once more! Once more!' To which Jascha impishly quipped, "From what you guys are saying, it seems you want us to play our last song." But then, the intro of 'Final Destination' played, with the song culminating in the now-customary Mikkel guitar solo.
After it had completed, Jascha made a confession, "Our band has a lot of slow songs. This is one of our slowest songs", and they went on to play 'Breaking My Heart'. During the second verse, something went wrong or out of sync, maybe, and Jascha sang the second pre-chorus louder than usual and in a peculiar way. Later, Jascha blurted out the standard introduction to 'Wild Women', "I have seen many wild guys here in Nepal...but I wonder if there are any wild women out there?" The guitar-work on this was quite similar to that on the live versions we have heard. Jascha then introduced the song '25 Minutes' during the bridge of which Mikkel came down the stage to shake hands with fans. By this time, the demand for the song 'Someday' had reached feverish pitch, and there was no choice left for MLTR than to relent. So they played it after announcing that it was going to be the last song for the night, with the accompaniment of the music video playing on the background screen. Then they waved and disappeared, even as the crowd yelled in excitement, 'Once more! Once more! Once more!'
However, seasoned fans know better, that their gig is incomplete without 'That's Why (You Go Away)'. So, back they were in about 5 minutes to straightaway play magic on 'Paint My Love' and then followed by their magnum opus farewell song, 'That's Why (You Go Away)'. When Jascha, Mikkel and Lars lined up for the final bow, however, Kare could not join them. I learnt from my friends that Kare had been seen limping away to the backstage, the reasons for which are only subject of speculation (cramps? twist? strain? cut?). The stage then bore a deserted look, the music
instruments and the equipment left behind seeming to be the only relics of the presence of our pop-rock idols. A dark silence then descended upon the crowd, mingling with the wave of cold that was fast engulfing Tudikhel, which had been hitherto kept warm by MLTR, bringing with it the painful & heavy realization that the road now led back home, lightened, however, by a very recently acquired trove of wistful memories that was going to be ours forever.
THE CONCERT IN A NUTSHELL :
Venue : Tudikhel Ground, Kathmandu, Nepal
Time : 6.30 PM to 8.30 PM Nepal Time. Gates opened at 3 PM Nepal time
Crowd : Awaiting accurate/official figures. However, unofficially reported by a newspaper as 6,000 - 10,000 excluding the organizers, volunteers, security personnel and media-persons
Organizers : ODC Networks, Nepal and Engage Entertainment India
Bassist : Lars (Lundholm?)
Set-list : Please refer to the song titles in bold in the note above, and read in the same order.
Lesser known songs played : It's Only Love, Take Off Your Clothes, Hot To Handle, Animals
Minor hit songs played : Salvation, It's Gonna Make Sense, How Many Hours
Lesser known but concert regulars : Angel Eyes, Final Destination, Naked Like The Moon
Notable exclusions : Strange Foreign Beauty, Out of the Blue, You Took My Heart Away, I Still Carry On
New Song : Anyway You Want It, from the forthcoming studio album and for which MLTR recorded a video out in Kathmandu and also during the concert.
(Written by Asiman Panda)
|Posted on December 5, 2011 at 9:55 AM||comments (0)|
Actually not in that way! I have never learned to rock, and neither will i ever. I would travel to the antipodes to avoid rock, in any of its forms. Rock now is just too anonymous for me, just a bit short of allure perhaps due to its ubiquitousness.
That said, when you talk about Michael Learns to Rock, I do make an exception and a big one at that. Is MLTR rock? I don't know, and neither does half the world seem to able to reach a conclusion. Does it matter? No, not at all! I don't listen to songs by their genre. After all, you don'tsing to fit to a genre, or do you?
In a world of alternative (pseudo) rock, MLTR sounds refreshing, even now at times. Personally, I do feel that Scandinavian gelid in most oftheir songs. The colors that I visualize are often blue and white, typically sub-arctic. Its almost like you are on the verge of isolation, next stoparctic! Its symbolic of warmth existing in a literal ridge of the humancivilization.
MLTR was the first band which captivated me, way back when I was 11(or 12). Of course, 80's pop was very much a part of my post-infancy but not with this ardor. Perhaps that's what makes it so special. Add to that the fact MLTR's collection was the first album I had heard where i liked each andevery song!
Of course, you may criticize them endless, partly for being genre-misfit and partly for being too easy to listen to (idiots do that!). You may say their appeal wasn't too broad and that they don't give you the 'rush'. But then again why would you criticize them? Their songs are just..well...nice...
(Written by Udipta Basumatari)
|Posted on December 5, 2011 at 9:45 AM||comments (0)|
Michael Learns To Rock (MLTR) was so popular a band in its heyday that even my dad knew that, "he wasn't an actor, nor a star and he didn't even have his own car"' (lyrics from the smash hit The Actor).
At MLTR's "Eternity Tour 2009" concert at Genting's Arena of Stars recently, Pas Youth's threatened protest had the riot police out in full gear but all they had to contend with were faithful MLTR fans.
Returning to where it all started for them in Asia after a blast in 2007, MLTR does seem to have a strong fan base as all 6,000 seats at the hall were filled with groupies who seemed to know every word of the band's songs.
The unfussy stage was shared with a female bassist, only introduced as Ida, lead singer-guitarist Jascha Richter and Mikkel Lentz.
While Lentz had his white shirt unbuttoned to his waist (yummy!) the other two looked fairly ordinary with no stage hair or costumes.
The fourth Michael, Soren Madsen, has possibly learnt to rock and left the group so now we are left with three. Kaare Wanscher was on the drums on stage.
The MLTR show, presented by Star Planet, started on time and opened with Sleeping Child, a mellow crowd-pleaser and the evening continued much in that vein.
Someday It's Gonna Make Sense from the new album Eternity & Beyond had a nice punchy beat and no doubt is going to be a winner.
Fans went absolutely wild when Richter did a walk during I'm Gonna Be Around, rushing up to the barriers to have a picture taken with him or just to hold his hand.
After nine songs in the first set, Ida took centre stage to showcase her singing with You Took My Heart Away. Good try but she's better now at rocking the bass guitar.
Next came a medley of songs, after which we were re-introduced to Richter, this time wearing a grey leopard-print T-shirt. Euro-trash look not withstanding, he had the crowd in full sing-along mode with Out Of The Blue.
The last set had eight songs starting with the very lively Angel Eyes. Favourites like Strange Foreign Beauty (which was dedicated to"Maleeesia") and the single, Take Me To Your Heart, which is a remake of Jacky Cheung's Goodbye Kiss, had the audience on their feet and swaying deliriously.
The fan approval reached an all-time high at the end of the night with the opening strains to 25 Minutes. The song managed to get super macho Muthu, feng tau Lee and cynics like me, joining in at the chorus:"Boy I missed your kisses/ all the time but this is Twenty five minutes toooo laaaate".
As I sat nursing my hot chocolate in the 14 degrees Celsius cold after the concert, I had to agree that karaoke "live with MLTR" can get you warm and fuzzy for a night at least.
(Written by Kiren Kaur)