After my first jet-laggy day at Iceland Airwaves, I was able to wake up Friday morning feeling well-rested to seize a new day at the festival – jet lag be damned!
First I met my sister for brunch at KEX Hostel (where all the live KEXP radio sessions are filmed), a super cool space that has great brunch that you can eat while watching the sun rise over the mountains across the bay – the sun rises at about 8:30AM – 9:00AM this time of year. After brunch we made our way to Harpa – my most favourite concert venue in the whole word – to get in line to make sure we had tickets to see Kraftwerk close out the festival on Sunday night, we got there two hours early and succeeded at getting a pair! After that it was off to the shows…
Minutes after making it in to B5 to see Mammút the bar quickly filled up, so much that I was almost standing on stage with them… And I thought I was being smart by trying to catch them at an off-venue show…
I always love seeing this band and I love their progression from hardcore-almost-metal to an almost folk vibe, but still rocking electric guitars. It isn’t hard to fall in love with this group and you can see that by the (mainly) Icelandic community that comes out to show their support at each of their shows.
“Legend has it that for centuries, the inhabitants of the village of Korpolombolo were dedicated to the worship and practices of Voodoo.”
Vök is one of my new discoveries this year at Airwaves. Similar to Mammút, they also entered a battle of the bands and went on to win it thus gaining a lot of attention in their native country. I caught them at another off-venue show where I got to listen to Margarét’s whispy vocals and Andri’s sexy sax playing. They say that they are influenced by James Blake, The XX, and metal! They capture the essence of shoegaze but with an Icelandic je ne sais quoi… lol, you know what I mean.
Listen to them below.
I LOVE Tilbury! I feel so lucky to have gotten to see them this year in Gamla Bíó – the beautiful former opera house in downtown Reykjavík. The band surprised the audience by transforming their indie-folk style tunes into pure symphonic bliss. It was really like watching a [very small] orchestra perform live for an opera. In the future, it would be interesting to see this band score a film or play. Their composition is spot on and this was not a show to miss.
Goat is an intentionally mysterious band from Sweden. I don’t really know if I get the whole performance they put on, but it was still a fun show to watch. Here is an excerpt of their bio from Airwaves:
Goat are a collective who hail from a small and very remote village called Korpolombolo in deepest darkest Sweden. Legend has it that for centuries, the inhabitants of the village of Korpolombolo were dedicated to the worship and practices of Voodoo. This strange and seemingly unlikely activity was apparently introduced into the area after a travelling witch doctor and a handful of her disciples were led to Korpolombolo by following a cipher hidden within their most sacred of ancient scriptures. The reason it led them there is unknown, but their Voodoo influence quickly took hold over the whole village and so they made it their home – there, they were able to practice their craft unnoticed and unbothered for several centuries. This was until their non-Christian ways were discovered by the Church and they were burned out by the crusaders, the survivors cursing the village over their shoulders as they fled. To this day, the now picturesque village of Korpolombolo is still haunted by this Voodoo curse; the power of the curse can be felt throughout the grooves of the Goat records.
See what I mean? A bit over-the-top for me but they definitely have a sort of entertainment value, and some of their songs are pretty good, clearly influenced by music from the 60s.
The Balconies (One more time for good measure…)
And finally, I ended my second night at Airwaves with The Balconies one more time. This time they played at a venue that kind of looked a bit like an attic – in a cool way – Gamli Gaukurinn. It was a great place for them to strut their rock-and-roll stuff, a lot of crazy bands played here and it was filled with people who were ready to rip it up. The show was a sweaty good time and yet again the band totally transformed an audience of people who didn’t know the band into 111% The Balconies fans-4-life. Jacquie even took time after the show to take some photos with her new fans in her classic rock lunge pose.
And that ended a second day at Airwaves… Who am I kidding? I don’t remember when the night actually ended.. C’mon people I am in Iceland for one week, obviously going to party til I die.