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MUSIC

Eager Bieber fans set to flock to free gig

Norwegian fans of teen superstar Justin Bieber saw their dreams come true on Wednesday as police confirmed that the 18-year-old Canadian would play a free concert in the city later in the day.

Eager Bieber fans set to flock to free gig
Photo: Lise Åserud/Scanpix

Throngs of teens, most of them girls, have prowled the streets of the capital in the hopes of catching a glimpse of their hero ever since he arrived at Gardermoen airport on Tuesday as part of a tour to promote his latest album.

In a Twitter message posted shortly after 2pm, Oslo police confirmed the rumour that the pop star was planning to put on a show in the city.

”Bieber is expected to put on a concert from a stage in the water outside the opera house this evening at around 9 or 9.30pm," police wrote.

According to a schedule spotted by a Scanpix photographer in a car outside the Hotel Continental where Justin Bieber is staying, 5,000 tickets will be made available to fans on a first come, first served basis.

True Beliebers, as his fans are often known, had already begun gathering on the roof of the opera house on Wednesday morning as rumours of the concert and its location gathered force.

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YOUTUBE

‘Take On Me’ tops a billion YouTube views: What makes 80s Norwegian hit so enduring?

It’s arguably the biggest success in the history of Norwegian pop, and A-ha’s 1984 pop classic ‘Take On Me’ this week reached a new milestone.

'Take On Me' tops a billion YouTube views: What makes 80s Norwegian hit so enduring?
A-Ha performing in 2015. Photo: AFP

The song combines synthpop with acoustic guitars, keyboards and drums and is indisputably the band’s signature tune and one of the most evocative pop songs of the decade.

That is complemented by a memorable music video which combined live action sequences with black-and-white pencil sketch animated overlays, in what was then an innovative technique called rotoscoping. It won six awards at the 1986 MTV Music Video Awards.

Perhaps the combination of both music and visuals has driven Take On Me into the realms of YouTube royalty. The official video, originally released in 1985, was recently restored and upgraded to 4K resolution to improve visual quality, Warner Music Norway wrote in a press statement.

In any case, A-ha now join a small list of artists with music videos that have tipped the 10-figure mark for total views on the social media website.

While South Korean rapper Psy’s 2012 hit Gangnam Style and Despacito by Luis Fonsi (2017) have famously garnered monstrous numbers of YouTube views, it’s arguably harder for songs which pre-date widespread use of the Internet to rack up those kind of figures.

Take On Me joins two Guns N’ Roses songs (November Rain, Sweet Child o’ Mine), Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit in an elite club of just five songs from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s with over a billion views.

Numb by Linkin Park was the first pre-YouTube video from the 2000s to reach a billion views.

“Obviously the video is unique and it has some features that stand up and stand the test of time,” he shared. “It’s hand drawn which makes it what it is,” A-ha guitarist Magne Furuholmen told Billboard last year.

“The song also seems to resonate with people across time. It’s just very fortunate to have such a big song in our catalogue,” Furuholmen said.

“We probably spent a few years talking it down, trying to get people to focus on new stuff we’re doing. At this point, certainly speaking for myself, I’m just surprised and proud that the song has done so well and still finds an audience,” he added.

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