Cool that you followed my advice on Håkan! :) Too bad though that you didn't like it so much.
Yes I was there, and I was very happy about it. The show itself was not nearly as good as the one in Halmstad earlier this summer; Liseberg was a bit too crowded and the gig was a bit short and they didn't play some of my favourite HH songs, but I had a great time anyway.
I'll attempt to explain why we like him so much:
For Swedish people my age Håkan's music bears a lot of connotations and associations.. I was 16 when his first solo record came out and it's a very youthful (immature..) and extremely emotional record about love, longing and all that, so it really touched people my age very deeply. And so we still have some of those associations and emotions there I think; you might have noticed the crowd singing along a lot to his first hit, "Känn ingen sorg för mig Göteborg"!
Since that first album he's grown up a lot, he's 34 now and a father of two, but his music is still very emotional and the lyrics touch us. For me "Brännö serenad" and "Hurricane Gilbert", for example, are two of the best songs ever about unrequited love..
And I also think that musically he has developed in a very nice direction, incorporating a lot of Bruce Springsteenesque saxophones and pianos and adding some power to his very nice melodies.
He also is taste-wise an interesting person as he draws inspiration from a lot of different directions; it's obvious that he has listened a lot to The Smiths and Bruce Springsteen and stuff like that but for example he has also recorded an EP with Swedish folkish songs ("visor", that's like "chansons" in French I think), and done concerts with the popular 70+ "vis"-singer Sven Bertil Taube. So he used to be indie but nowadays he's extremely popular in general, as we say in Swedish he is "folkkär" (dear to the people).
I hope that this explains some..
What kind of course are you taking on Swedish music? What kind of essay are you writing? It sounds like fun. :)
All the best,