The schedule for the final week is a bit different from the semifinals and as press we only get one day were we get to get our footage of the rehearsals. The day didn't started as early as it used to, which was a relief since we had stayed up late the night before. The press got let in the arena and we hurry inside to get a good seat for me to photograph from. Since I don't have the largest or the best zoom lens, I had to make sure I sat close enough to the stage.
First act to perform after the press conference that they held right before the rehearsals starts, was Ace Wilder. I basically already knew the performance in and out from semifinal 1, so I knew what to expect and know when to be ready to capture the moments. "Wild Child" was one of my favorite songs and performance in this year's contest and I was happy to be able to see and photograph the perfomance live once again.
I loved that you could see how much Ace was enjoying evey minute she was on stage. She had said in our interview that she had felt pressure last year when entereing the contest and was putting the most into her performance. This year, she didn't felt the same pressure and she had said that she could enjoy it a lot more than before which I think really showed in her performance.
Next up was Boris René. I think all of the people that have been following me here and on my social medias know how much I like Boris. He's such a good performer with a charisma that is hard to find in Sweden. If any one of the performance that I've watched the most, is definitley Boris's, which I guess is mostly because we saw him in semifinal 1 and Andra Chansen.
The amount of pictures I have of Boris from Melfest is ridicioulus many, haha. Despite the fact that I had seen him only the week before, I was happy to see him do his thing on stage once again. This time around, he had another jacket to see if he wanted to change the style a bit. I liked the jacket in Mint but the red one suited him much better.
Lisa Ajax was next up. I still have a bit hard time to decide what to think about her song and performance of "I Don't Give A". Photographing Lisa performance was not much, I only took a couple of pictures since I knew there was not a lot of variation to it.
I was super excited to see Robin Bengtsson's performance of "I Can't Go On". I love everything about it! I loved watching the peformance and it was nice seeing him doing something different than I've seen him do before. When I first started follow Robin's music career, he was the guy with a guitar in his hand singing acoustic songs (which is a version of him I love as well) but now he looks more comfortable and are actually moving on stage. It's nice seeing him stepping up his game. :)
Joik isn't something Swedes usually listen to, but it seems like a lot of people have a soft spot for Jon Henrik Fjällgren and do actually pay attention to his songs. Jon Henrik was a prefavorite for sure this year, and a lot of people were excited to see him in the contest again.
It was the first time for the audience to see him perform with someone featuring on his track. I wasn't sure what to expect of "En Värld Av Strider" since there would be someone joining him, I really like the song, even if you don't understand most of what they are singing, you can still feel the emotions they are putting into their performance. It was nice having them in the contest to show something different from what everyone else was doing.
I liked Jon Henrik and Aninia's chemestry. Despite the fact that it was Aninia's first time entering Melfest, she did a good job. As many people know, Jon Henrik wasn't feeling alright and was going through a tough time as he lost a very close friend not long ago. It was nice to see that Aninia did her best in supporting Jon Henrik and be there for him during the circus of Melfest.
I loved hearing the song live and made an even bigger impact when you heard it in the arena.
Another person that returned to the contest was Mariette. She has been a person I've come acrossed now and then, but isn't an artist that I put on play. First time I heard "A Million Years", I was pleasent suprised over how good it was. In my opinion, "A Million Years" is a much better song than her last entry "Don't Stop Believing".
The bungjy ropes that Mariette had in her performance of "A million Years" was definitley something that stood out. I think it was cool and I'm impressed of the dancers doing the choregraphy. It takes a lot of balance, focus and strenght to jump around and doing their thing.
Next up, was Fo&O. I still have a soft spot for them and I respect them for having a lot hands on everything they do in their work. The lyrics of "Gotta Thing About You" is still stuck in my head and I can't help it to sing along to it whenever I hear someone play it.
The lighting in FO&O's performance is one of the best ones in this year's Melfest, at least when it comes to me photographing it. It's very easy photographing the boys and it's fun seeing them do what they do.
The blackhorse of this year's competition was definitely Nano. I don't think anyone expected someone as new as him to become the big favorite of everyone, specially when there were a lot of returning acts. Personally, I do like "Hold On" to be able to listen to it, but it's not a song that I would put on my playlist.
It's not that a lot of things happening in Nano's performance, it's mostly the lighting that changes. I tried to capture something else than I did the first semifinal. I managed to capture the change in the lighting. And one of the best things in the performance is the choir that Nano has, I really like hearing them live, it had such impact to it.
Another big favorite this year was Wiktoria. She debuted last year in Melfest and gained a big following. She was a prefavorite this year and I think she felt the pressure to come back right away with such a success. I was happy to see that she had something else to her performance this year and that she actually moved around on stage and did a little choregraphy of some kind.
"As I Lay Me Down" is a very catchy tune and it's easy to follow along. I would lie if I didn't told you that I know most of the lyrics. I kind of like it, but at the same time I don't. I'm sorry to say, but it's something about Wiktoria's voice that makes me not wanting to pay that much attention to it. I guess it's just that you can have your own liking when it comes to vocals.
Benjamin Ingrosso was one of the debuting artist this year. I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to think about him before he did his performance in his semifinal. I had heard his previous singles but it wasn't something for me.
Once it was time for him to do his performance back in his semifinal, I was pleasant surprised over how good it was. "Good Loving" is such a great tune and you get that feel good vibe from listening to it. I think Benjamin did a great job doing his performance and he showed a lot of charisma on stage.
I was looking forward to see Benjamin's performance live and feel the vibe in the arena.
Last but not least, Owe ended the rehearsals with his performance of "Boogieman Blues". People's opinions of Owe is very split. I think it's one of those things were you either like it or hate it. I think it was great to see Owe and the love he got. It was fun to see that he got to do his thing and to actually qualify to the finals. To prove that Melfest is not only for the younger people.
Owe's performance had it's own charm. It was fun to watch and Owe really put in everything in his performance. A funny thing that happened during the rehearsals was that the press had been told that Owe was going to take it easy, and not do his performance full out because he was tired and it was very late at night. I think it was about 9-10pm when he did his rehearsals.
Anyway, we were told he would hold back but once they said that and he started to do his last round, he did the opposite. He put everything to it in his performance and more, it was so fun! I think he said after the round through that he wanted to do his best since the press was there and nothing would hold him back to do what he came to do. Haha. Kudos to him!
After Owe's round through, that was it for the rehearsals of Melfest 2017. It had been a very long day of me photographing all of the rehearsals while editing photos in between. I think we left the arena around 10pm. It was fun being in the arena to take photos of the performances though. During the rehearsals is when I get to do what I do best and I love it.
Jenevia had been sitting by my side during the whole time editing the interviews we had got the previous day. I have to say, getting back to the hotel that day was lovely. We continue to edit our footage a bit when we got back to the hotel, but I called it a night and got some well needed sleep. I doubt that people understand how much Jenevia and I work during Melfest, we basically barely get some sleep at all.
Anyway, that was it for this post, hope you enjoyed seeing my photos and reading some Melfest stories even if it wasn't that much to say.
Until next time, ingat!