Swedes puzzle me at concerts. They are so reserved and polite somehow. Last night Robert and I were at the Timbuktu concert at Mosebacke. A band from southern Sweden, Timbuktu plays a fun combination of hip-hop, reggae and ska. It is great music. The concert was outside in a venue that overlooks the city and the Baltic, plus the evening was warm. All the conditions were right for a great night of dancing to the music. But there was very little dancing at the concert. Sure, there was a sort of head bop along with the music thing going on and a few songs got the crowd to high five or wave along. But there was no out and out dancing like you would see at a concert in the US. (That said, several of the band members did some mighty fine dance moves.)
Every time I’ve been to a rock concert here in Sweden – whether it’s a top international act or a local favorite – the crowd is like this. Polite clapping is the usual behavior, though there may be a few renegades who are bucking the trend and dancing. I don’t get it. When I am at a good concert and hear a song I love, I want to dance. Is it the more private, reserved character of the Swedish people that keeps them from dancing? I don’t think so. Go to any dance club in town and you’ll see plenty of dancing of all sorts. So is no dancing the normal concert behavior here? I guess I’ll have to ask my friends who go to the Bruce Springsteen concert extravanaganzas. Bruce seems to be the patron saint of concerts in Sweden. Surely there is dancing at a Springsteen concert?