Into my third day at Iceland Airwaves and my jet lag is finally starting to subside. I wake up a little bit early anyway though to go out for brunch with two friends I hadn’t seen in a while who also happened to be at the festival! We decided to go to the famous (as well as oldest café in Reykjavik) Prikið to get a solid brunch-on before starting the day. Prikið is famous for it’s “Hangover Helper” brunch that comes with a milkshake called the Brews Willis – it has Jack Daniels and a painkiller in it – so of course I had to get it. Despite the meal being ridiculously expensive and gross looking it was actually delicious.
Enough with the chit chat, let’s get to the Airwaves goodness:
SYKUR is an electro-dance all-round good times fun band from Reykjavik. Which is why I was surprised to hear they were having an “acoustic” session at an off-venue event in the afternoon. I say “acoustic” because it really wasn’t acoustic but it was definitely stripped down from their usual high-energy performances. I was really excited to see them in a different atmosphere because I had a hunch they would do a great job even if stripped of all their synthetic instruments.
…And of course I was right. Agnes (lead vocalist) was a riot to watch, realizing that is Saturday morning during Airwaves she strolled in with a bag of candy to share with her hungover fans. In the middle of her performance she told the crowd to hug a stranger near them – granted it didn’t work well but the sentiment was nice. Overall it was a laid back light-hearted performance that was the perfect way to start the day. Thanks SYKUR! No hard feelings about the mic stand falling on me!
“The amount of young talent in Iceland is extraordinary. Ásgeir and his band are a group of very talented musicians playing perfectly composed songs…”
Yes, I tried to go to Sóley in Iceland. Talk about a hard show to get into! This girl is absolutely famous here.
To be honest, the whole performance was a little lackluster for me and I just couldn’t get into it, but I did manage to meet some very nice people while waiting for her to begin!
I definitely wanted to catch these boys in action after having posted about them in my Icelandic Mondays post. For being so young (they look like they can’t be older than 17 or 18) these guys are doing a great job. They aren’t perfect by any means but you know with some time they will develop their style and vocals more to be amazing live performers. They already get tons of radio play in Iceland and have a solid fan base to take them far.
Then I went to see another young Icelandic man, by the name of Ásgeir (Formerly Ásgeir Trausti). The amount of young talent in Iceland is extraordinary. Ásgeir and his band are a group of very talented musicians playing perfectly composed songs in the beautiful Harpa. No wonder people were literally camping out on the ground waiting for him to perform. I am positive that this man and his music will be crossing the Atlantic soon to spread his music across North America.
Listen to two of his tracks below via Soundcloud.
Zola Jesus aka Nika Danilova is just one of those artists that makes me almost tear up every time I see her. This performance at Airwaves marked my 5th or 6th time seeing her live and the 3rd country (I have seen her perform in Canada, USA, and now, Iceland). I can’t get enough of her voice and lyrics, as well as her amazing stage persona. She mentioned that this show was the first time her and her band had performed together in over 6 months, she had previously been on her Versions tour with JG Thirlwell and String Quartet. It was great to see her appreciation to be reunited with her band in a beautiful opera house in Iceland.
She performed the whole show in bare feet, which isn’t surprising – I often notice her feet at concerts for her odd footwear: once she wore flats that looked like stones, the other time white fabric slippers – except that she performed barefoot in amongst the crowd. Carefully climbing off of the stage she came down, held fans hands and sang to them, and stood up on a chair to sing to the upper balcony.
I know the year isn’t over yet, but as it comes to a close I am starting to think about my top concerts of the year, and I can’t help but think that this one was number one.