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This week saw the return of Denmark’s Oh No Ono to New York, following a trip to Austin for South By Southwest.  On Wednesday, the band headlined Mercury Lounge, the same venue where they had their U.S. live debut just two months earlier (then opening a sold-out show for Bear In Heaven), and on Thursday they opened for Little Dragon at Music Hall of Williamsburg (also sold out). 

Oh No Ono’s Mercury Lounge performance on Wednesday saw the band in top form.  As usual, the guys were in fabulously quirky outfits, and they livened things up even more with humorous quips about being from Denmark and living “in Ikea.”  The band members’ energy and enthusiasm was palpable as they delivered a brilliant set of beautifully trippy, psychedelic songs.

At times recalling The Beatles’ more experimental period (think Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band), Oh No Ono’s music certainly has its own inventive spin.  The songs sound as lush live as they do on the records, with lots of guitars, keyboards and nice group harmonies.  Guitarists Malthe Fischer and Aske Zidore share lead vocals, and the band is rounded out with Nis Svoldgard on bass, Nicolai Koch on keyboards and Kristoffer Rom on drums. 

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The set included the mellow, epic “The Wave Ballet,” as well as the very groovy tunes “Am I Right?” “Helplessly Young,” and “Internet Warrior,” the latter starting out with rather realistic bird coos from Svoldgard.  To close evening, Oh No Ono rocked out on “Miss Miss Moss,” and then for almost-encore (they didn’t quite leave the stage), they treated us with an older song, “Keeping Warm In A Cold Country,” one of the biggest hits they have enjoyed in Denmark. One of the band members joked that it would be the last song, and the last time they would play it.

Oh No Ono was an absolute delight, truly one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while, and the rest of the audience (which included lot of other Danish musicians) seemed equally as charmed. –Teresa Sampson, Photos by Teresa Sampson

 
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