TV’s Så Mycket Bättre gave Miriam Bryant’s career an extra push into Sweden’s big league. So thanks SMB for showing the crowds what I’ve seen in her from the start and for giving her the chance to fill a place like Cirkus in Stockholm. It has been fascinating following her grow as an artist as the stages have become bigger.
Settling in the middle of the front row like a proper fangirl, the anticipation is tangible as the lights go off and the band comes on stage. The piano intro of Finders Keepers makes the crowd cheer as Miriam enters. The formidable voice gets the focus it deserves right from the get-go.
The show goes on with Så Mycket Bättre favorite One Last Time and the audience loves every minute of it. Miriam jokes about joining the programme determined to win the whole thing, only to realise it wasn’t a competition. Well, she did emerge victorious and the crowd totally agrees that she was the hands-down winner of the season.
Miriam announces an unreleased song, but I’m obviously not the only one who’s heard it before. Game is a catchy gem of a pop tune and a sure-fire hit when it will be released. Satellite continues in the same vein, chronicling Miriam falling for a guy whose name she says she’s forgotten.
Alone isn’t Lonely and Since You Left take it down a notch until Miriam gets the crowd up from their seats, clapping and singing along to Allt jag behöver nu, the perfectly empowering post-breakup anthem (very much different from Lisa Nilsson’s original in which she’s feeling sorry for herself and licking her wounds).
The international hit Find You and one of my personal favorites Weak Heart sound pretty amazing as Miriam’s voice is once again in the main role.
When Miriam brings the legendary Sven-Bertil Taube on stage, the audience stands up to show their reverence. It is obvious there is a very special connection between the two when they sing Som stjärnor små.
Miriam has the audience eating out of her hand most of the evening, getting them to snap their fingers or wave their hands on command. Some of the songs may be unfamiliar to those who have only found her through her TV success, but the fans sing along to just about everything. Her humour and self-distance keep the audience smiling as she chatters in between songs.
Dragon really gets the audience going and when Push Play’s drum intro sounds, the audience is up and clapping, soon forming a sea of hands in the air.
Another fan favorite Raised in Rain is saved for the encore, as well as Så Mycket Bättre’s probably biggest hit Ett sista glas (which actually takes its melody from an Irish folk song), when Sven-Bertil Taube re-enters to the joy of the audience.
It was obvious Miriam was enjoying what she was doing on stage and that always tends to be a key ingredient for making a music experience memorable. So yes, this was the best I’ve seen from her so far (and I’ve seen her plenty of times), and I have no doubt she is still to take us to new heights.
Words & pictures by Nina Uddin