If you couldn’t make it to Oslo, Norway in December for the 23rd annual Nobel Peace Prize concert to honour the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, relive the glory on SBS this Australia Day public holiday.
Certainly President Santos winning the Nobel Peace Prize is something to sing about since he has worked to end the country’s civil war, which had lasted more than five decades and saw the deaths of more than 200,000 people.
So it’s fitting that the annual concert held at the Telenor Arena brings together some of the finest artists in the world to celebrate the monumental work of Nobel Laureates like him. Past performers have included Paul McCartney, Rihanna and Elton John.
The 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Concert lineup is introduced by ginger haired American late-night talk show king, Conan O’Brien, who’d earlier joked that the only reason he was given the the hosting gig is because he can sing and dance, plus he has the perfect skin colour for December in Oslo”. Past hosts have included another American talk show host, Jay Leno and the actress Sarah Jessica Parker.
On occasions such as this one with performers showcasing very different genres from around the world, it becomes a matter of diplomacy to pronounce one in particular as the headline act.
However since he had a special invitation from the Colombian president himself to perform, this honour should go to Latino superstar, Juanes, who is making his third appearance at the event. Backed by the might of the Norweigan Radio Orchestra, the multiple Grammy award winning singer,songwriter and activist (he created the Mi Sangra Foundation to aid the victims of anti-personnel mines) shows why the LA Times has named him ``the single most important figure of the past decade in Latin music”. He performs three songs - La Camisa Negra, A Dias de Pido amd Fuego.
Also a starter as a headline act in the 2016 concert is Sting, who is on song performing Message In The Bottle, One Fine Day and Fragile. Then it’s down to the next generations, which includes Halsey, Highasakite, Icona Pop and pubescent pop sensations Marcus & Martinus. All of this against a dazzling setting in the vast Telenor Arena with the kinds of production values befitting a television audience of millions around the world.
Some of the acts are intriguing for what they represent on stage especially American-born Halsey, 22, whose debut album Badlands went platinum. She also recently collaborated with DJ duo, Chainsmokers on the hit single, Closer. Barefoot, tattooed with her signature pixie haircut in a wafty ballgown slashed to the waist, she made use the imposing stage like a wayward angel, performing Colors and Castle, accompanied by KORK (the Norweigian Radio Orchestra). It’s a set not to be missed.
Norweigian indie pop and rock band, Highasakite, who play instruments not normally associated with pop music including the flugabone and steeldrum, have already been acclaimed for their spirituality on stage and their earthy performances especially on tour here in Australia.
In Oslo, in front of a relatively intimate live audience of just a few thousands, they do justice to three of their biggest hits, Golden Ticket, Lover and Where Do You Live.
Described as the young talent act of concert is Norweigian duo, Marcus & Martinus, 14 - year- old twins, who have been critically acclaimed since winning the Melodi Grand Prix Junior contest in 2012. Last November they released Together, their first English album, which immediately debuted at number 1 in Norway and Sweden and number 6 in Finland. On this night they perform Without You and Bae, encapsulating the hope for the future.
Swedish electropop outfit, Icona Pop have opened for everyone from One Direction to Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus but the duo of Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt own the stage in Norway especially when they do their well known medley of All Night and I Love It, which further lifts the mood of the night.
Don’t just sit there in front of your screen - get up and dance - the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize concert is one to savour.
The Nobel Peace Prize Concert airs this Australia Day on 26 January at 3:30pm on SBS.