Tusen tack, Kent

Mike at the Kent show in Oslo

Sometime in 2006, I was listening to random stuff on Pandora when a song came on that was distinctly not in English. I had no idea what the lyrics said but I was immediately hooked by the music. I learned the band was called Kent and the words were in Swedish. Then I found they had two albums in English, I bought those right away. Finding the Swedish CDs was more work; I ended up ordering those from websites in Europe that I could hardly read.

Every year or two there would be a welcome surprise in the form of a new album. I snapped them up and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Occasionally I would read the translations of the lyrics, but in general I was just happy to have great music to groove to. Often I thought about seeing the band in concert, but they only toured Scandinavia. In 2009 they played an album launch party in New York City, but I wasn’t able to go. Someday, I always thought.

In March, out of the blue, the band announced that they were quitting at the end of 2016, with a creepy video that included visual references to their past albums. It ends with “Sista albumet” (the last album) and “Sista turnét” (the last tour), and an end date of December 17.

2016 in general has been a lousy year, with a few ups and some serious downs. I overcame the worst part in the summer, and reminded myself that life is short. Why not go see this band? There will never be another chance. With luck, cheap airfare, and help from my family, my wife and I traveled to Oslo to see a show in October. It seems crazy to vacation in Norway in the fall but it was worth it!

How cool it was to see Kent play live after all these years. They put together a musical and visual masterpiece. So many of my favorite songs. At the same time it was bittersweet, knowing there won’t be any more.

Today is their last concert ever. I am glad to have known them for ten years, and I’ll enjoy this music the rest of my life. If you’ve never heard them, their music is easy to find these days on the streaming services. There are hundreds of great songs to listen to.

Färvall Kent och tusen tack!