Iceland Airwaves has come to another end this year and it is with a bittersweet heart that I return back to Toronto from spending one week in the beautiful and magical Reykjavik.
I left Toronto on Wednesday, October 30th at 9PM and after a short 5 hour flight arrived in Reykjavík the next day around 6AM with only one hour of sleep. Airwaves does not give you time to sleep, so by the time I finally got checked in to my hotel and showered and ate it was time to jump right into the festival that had already begun the night before.
First, I went to an off-venue show at Stúdentakjallarinn (a little café/bar in the basement of the University) to go to the Osheaga and CIMA Present the Canadian Blast Showcase where a bunch of Canadian acts were rocking it out to… Uni students doing work on their laptops…? It was an odd venue choice but us Canadian have always been good at adapting to our environment. Here I saw: Diana, Royal Canoe, and Cousins, before going off to have a quick dinner and see some other shows.
The Balconies are a band from Toronto who are a fu****g rock and roll super-machine! Here is a quick little excerpt from their bio that I think describes them well:
With Jacquie at the helm, backed by the rippling rhythms of Liam and Stephen, The Balconies continue to steamroll unsuspecting crowds throughout Europe and continental North America – doing it heavier and sweatier each and every night (go ahead, try to outdo Jacquie’s deep rock lunges and swirling hair). They’ve shared the stage with Cold War Kids, Mother Mother, Devo, Sloan, Stars, Wide Mouth Mason, Big Sugar, Tokyo Police Club, Bad Religion, Rival Sons, and the Sam Roberts Band.
I saw them playing off-venue at Loft, a bar on the top floor of the local HI Hostel. The best part about seeing this band is the shock and awe from the crowd. Jacquie has a set of killer vocals that appeals to everyone in any age group. Their raw energy they focus into their performances is spectacular, you can feel the electricity in the air. I saw them two times during Airwaves and every time everyone around me was talking about how amazing Jacquie’s voice was and how great the whole band is. Great job guys!
“Ho hum, that is the price you pay when you fall asleep during Iceland Airwaves…”
After seeing The Balconies, I started on to the main venue events. First I ended up wandering around a bit and caught SOMETIME performing in the Art Museum. They are a fun little and local electronic-dance group that never fail to get people up and dancing. It was my second time seeing them at Airwaves and this time was even better, getting to see them in a huge more accommodating venue that houses hundreds, if not a thousand people with an amazing light set-up (well it is an art museum after all, it has to have some cool artsy lights somewhere in the back…). SOMETIME was the first act playing that night in the main venue events and they definitely had the crowd warmed up and ready for a long night of partying.
I just recently posted about Samaris in an Icelandic Mondays post leading up to the festival. They performed in the old and beautiful opera house, Gamla Bío, another perfectly chosen venue for this delicate and elegant group to perform in. The lead singer charmed us by saying welcoming us the the opera house and that they “had put on their best costumes” to come and perform there. Although their peaceful music was making me sleepy, it was only because I had had no sleep in I don’t know how many days… I was super happy to have been able to see this talented group of girls again, and I love listening to their amazing clarinet player.
At this time it was around 11:30PM on my first day in Reykjavik with pretty much no sleep. So I decided I would go home and nap, which turned into sleeping all night… And I ended up missing the FACKING Northern Lights!
Ho hum, that is the price you pay when you fall asleep during Iceland Airwaves…