Veronica Maggio is one of Sweden's absolute greatest artists. It is a fact that is important to point out as it often seems to be forgotten. Maybe because she has been on the leaderboards for so long that we stopped responding. Maybe because her image is so much "ordinary girl", with a broken heart and a shabby lower lip, that you don't always think of her as the big star she is.
But after five and a half albums, Grammys, P3 Gold and an arena performance at Stockholm Stadium, earlier this summer she became the first artist ever to take over Gröna Lund's big stage for three nights in a row. The Maggio evenings became a folk party that beat Louis Armstrong's record of the 60's with a rage.Comes in pink fur
Playing on Way out west is no exception. The lawn in front of the Flamingo scene is packed with people, from the very youngest teens to their parents with a jeans jacket and a slightly stiffer dance step.
And it starts well. Maggio comes out in pink fur, mirrored glasses, with confidence, good humor, tight ties and a damn pipe. The first song, Kurt Cobain, is from the new album she made with Jocke Berg and it is a piece of impeccable pop with good drive and strong chorus.Pumping, glittery synth
The song, which will echo through Slottsskogen during the next hour, is deafening from the first note. Sergel's Square, Hereafter, The Whole House - Veronica Maggio has so many hits that she could use them as dung paper. And also the new songs stand out well. Above all, the pumping, glittering view of Coincidence and the melancholy but clubbing chorus of I throw away my life.
But after about half the gig, a saturation occurs. We towards the world will be a much needed tempo increase but that is not enough. Everything tastes the same and there is no kind of salt - something dangerous, something sexy, something snappy - or just something that feels more real?Songs of breakup and heartache
Veronica Maggio has released albums after albums of personal songs about breakup and heartache, about avoiding her ex in the pub queue or being jealous of his new girl inside the club. But the prerequisite for that kind of songs to work is that they feel genuine. And for each song on the same theme, authenticity is watered down slightly. The feeling that she has begun to imitate herself, rather than actually be herself, becomes stronger.
Pop has certainly always been about youth, but I can't help but be curious about how the songs about Maggio's life as a soon-to-be 40-year-old mother of two would sound. Maybe it's not for the fifteen-year-olds who stood in front tonight, but maybe for a new audience, if she dares.