Michael Learns To Rock promises UAE fans an entertaining National Day concert

The Danish band is bringing its popular hits to Dubai on December 2.


Enid Grace Parker

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Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Published: Sun 28 Nov 2021, 11:33 AM

Last updated: Thu 22 Jun 2023, 3:59 PM

To celebrate 50 glorious years of the UAE, why not unwind with some great music from Michael Learns to Rock?

The Danish band - popularly referred to as ‘MLTR’ by its multi-cultural fanbase around the world - comprises of Jascha Richter, Mikkel Lentz and Kåre Wanscher.

MLTR, formed back in 1988, released its first eponymously titled album in 1991.

Thanks to numerous melodious soft-rock and pop tunes like The Actor, Out Of The Blue, 25 Minutes, and Sleeping Child that struck a chord with fans for their pleasing ’sing along’ element, MLTR’s popularity has only grown in the past three decades.

So it’s with much excitement that local fans reacted to the news that the band, no strangers to the UAE, is heading back to Dubai for a National Day concert that promises to be spectacular.

Michael Learns To Rock and American cover band Boyce Avenue will be performing at the UAE Golden Year Music Festival at Dubai Festival Arena on December 2. They will be supported by UAE singer Alira.

City Times caught up with the musical trio ahead of the gig.

There has been a resurgence of live musical performances after a long break. How do you feel about coming back to Dubai for your first live concert here since the Covid pandemic?

Jascha: We are super excited as we have not been travelling for almost two years. The pandemic has forced us to stay in Denmark; we have not been able to meet our fans around the world, and we have missed touring so much.

We last saw Michael Learns to Rock here in 2013 at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, which was an amazing experience. What can fans expect this time around for the special National Day concert?

Mikkel: We had a great show in 2013 thanks to a wonderful audience. This time around we will bring a show that is even more visual and entertaining and filled with all the familiar songs from our career.

Your simple yet catchy ballads like Sleeping Child and The Actor among many others, have enduring appeal and are still loved by fans all over the world. How does that make you feel?

Kåre: Every day we get mails/messages from our fans around the world and we can see that our songs are being played more than ever on streaming platforms etc. I simply makes us feel thankful and humble and shows that music is a language that can bring people together across borders, languages and cultures, which is a wonderful thing.

How did you keep yourselves busy during the peak of Covid when lockdowns across the world prevented live performances from happening?

Mikkel: We have all spent a lot of time with our families and were engaged in hobbies and other projects. Luckily Denmark opened up for live concerts already in May so we have been touring a bit in our home country this year.

You have completed over three decades as a band - what is it about your bandmates that creates a special equation musically - one that has lasted for so long? Many bands do not stand the test of time.

Kåre: There is no recipe on how to keep a band together for so many years but without mutual respect, understanding and the willingness to compromise no band will succeed.

As you have grown musically over the years, who have been your greatest inspirations?

Jascha: Many of the bands and artists from the 1970s and 1980s like ABBA, Supertramp etc. have been big inspirations for MLTR.

Your last studio album was Still in 2018. Can fans expect a new set of songs any time soon?

We just released a single called Children Of Tomorrow (Utopia) – and we might follow up next year with more new releases.

Dubai has been a growing hub for music over the years and has hosted many concerts. What are your favourite memories of the city from performing here earlier? What are some of your favourite places to visit in Dubai?

Kåre: The first time in Dubai in 1996 was special because it was our first time to the Middle East. Then over the years the most significant thing is the pace of the city’s development. Since 1996 we have seen a city-transformation like nowhere else and every time we come back the city looks different. We love just going to the beach or visiting some of the many very special places and buildings in Dubai.

What would you like to say to your long-time fans here in the UAE?

Mikkel: All the thanks in the world for the support and the amazing welcome every time we have been to the UAE. We hope to see you all at the show on December 2 to celebrate the UAE’s anniversary and the opportunity to meet and have a party together again.

Tickets for the concert are available on Platinumlist and at Virgin Megastores.

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