Oh I am the way I am

Árstíðir – Meskalina, Poznan; February 21st, 2019

Now you understand the way I am
You know I’ll follow
Hanging on until the end

Actually, ‘Passion’ is the song I wanted to quote at the beginning of this blog, because last night every word in this song was speaking volumes to me, so much that it moved me to tears. As Gunnar pointed out, it is a fitting last song and how it made me feel last night sums up everything about my relationship with this band or my relationship with music in general. Yet the words have to be heard with my ears to understand that. So instead I chose to quote from ‘While This Way’, the first song in the set, the opener of the latest album. I’ve been following Árstíðir for over six years now through good times and bad, changes in the band and times I’ve felt like giving it all up, always trusting that “it can be great again you’ll see”. And here I am, here we are. We’ve come along way and while almost everything has changed, my love for this band remains. It feels stronger now than it has for a long time and all that seemed lost was still there waiting for me. I can’t express how happy I am to have found it again.

Árstíðir’s concert at Meskalina was a truly wonderful one. I had high expectations of the venue as well as the concert and they were all exceeded. It was truly a night to remember, bringing six wonderful concert nights to a close. Everything fit, every song was right, the venue, sound and audience could not have been better. I never wanted this show to be over.

Since the beginning of this tour I had only used trains and busses to get around, but this time I needed a flight or I would not have made it to Poznan on time. So it was a morning bus to the airport, a short flight to Berlin and then a train ride. Arrived at the station, walked downtown and met up with A. who had offered to keep m suitcase in her room for the duration of the concert. Clothes changed, luggage stored and off we went to get some dinner before the show. Got to the venue at 5:30, half an hour before the doors opened and were all alone still when they did. As we walked in I was surprised that all the tables were gone.We sat down on the floor in front of the stage and chatted away, while the room slowly filled. While still outside, we had heard sound check and I already knew it was going to be much better than in Vienna. There were a lot of photographers around so I didn’t really feel like doing it too. Snapped a few pictures, but then put the camera down completely for the second part of the show. I was here to enjoy!

“Oh I am the way I am” it started and I sang along, making every line my own. The moment I sang “I’ll find a way, I’ll find a way, I always manage” I already had a big smile on m face and it did not leave me for the rest of the show. Indeed I got “pulled in back to you”. I can relate to this song on so many levels and I’m pretty sure none of those have much to do with its original meaning. It is one of those songs you can read a lot into. Those are the ones I like best. 🙂 ‘Lover’ always makes me smile. I’ve loved that song since the first time I heard it and some days I can relate.  <3 Ragnar explained how it was their first time in Poznan and how he’d been telling them many things about Meskalina. Oh yeah, thanks to him I have some good memories of that place. 🙂

After the disaster the previous day, it was such a joy to have good sound again. Everything was perfect there, all instruments and voices clear and just the right mix too. Somehow I was sure it must be this great everywhere in the room. There was nothing but happiness surging through me all night and because of it I came close to tears several times. I know I always get emotional about the bands and the music I love and I’m sure it always sounds the same when I write about it, but to me there is a difference. There are shows that don’t come to an other on an emotional level, because they touch me so deeply. This was one of those shows where I was one with the music, being taken to beautiful places in m mind while still remaining right there, enjoying every second of it. It felt very much like back in 2012 when everything was new and beautiful and perfect. I fell in love with this band then and through all the ears and all the changes I have always loved them, but once in a while I need a reminder of it and this night I fell in love with them all over again. :’)

‘In the Wake of You’ was brilliant again andI especially enjoyed watching Guillaume and Jean-Samuel play. I barely understand how to play a guitar and have absolutely no clue about violin or cello so I find it entirely fascinating to watch their hands and fingers walk across the strings, instinctively knowing where to place them to get just the right note. It is just beautiful. I love when Daníel explains what ‘Þar sem enginn fer’ is about, especially, since it changes a little bit every time. This night he added not to worry, because after everything going wrong on that car trip, all goes right in the end. 🙂

Ragnar told us that they drink fast and needed a break to refill their glasses, but would play one more song first. I don’t know how many more ways there are to say how great ‘Shades’ is. I have always loved it, even though there was a times I felt it was overplayed and I have heard it in many different incarnations, i.e. with different string players. Somehow, on this tour it has gotten new life and that night’s performance was absolutely brilliant. I love all the drama in that song and how it ends with a bang. It is such an amazing piece of music!

The break was over too quickly. I had just made my way to the bathroom when I heard people cheering so I went straight back and was in front row again before they played the first note of the encore. 😉 There are no bounds to how much I love ‘Sunday Morning’ and even though I know the did not put it on the setlist for me, they could not have selected a more fitting song. I don’t think I can count the number of times this song has given me a feeling of “no matter how bd it is now, it is going to be alright” and that night it was. :’) I tried to catch their eyes and smile at them during it, but they were too lost in the music to notice. ‘Kill us’ of course was brilliant as well.

Jean-Samuel and Guillaume were asked back to the stage to many cheers. Then, Gunnar explained quantum entanglement, mentioning how fascinating it was, but how we didn’t have time to go into deep science. He still said a lot about it, all the while holding on to his wine glass and moving around with it. Had I stood on his other side, I would have just taken it from his hand for the time being, but since I was not, it resulted in a giggle fit I could not control. All there was to be done was bite down on my finger, so I would not spoil the moment. The song left me with a happy sigh, thinking of the people I’m entangled with.

‘Like Snow’ is such a sad song, but so beautiful. There is so much loneliness and longing in there. for me it’s a good metaphor for lack of communication or communication gone wrong and I can ver much relate on that level. It has many layers though. Yet somehow there is a tiny sliver of hope left that all still could end up well. The somber mood was chased away by the laughter the ‘Friðþægingin’ challenge brought about. This time the said two people have succeeded so far and I wondered who the second one was. 😉 The song rocked so much I was moving along with it. 🙂

There were many small fun moments at the show too, like Ragnar and Jean-Samuel tickling each other under the chin at one point and some of the loos the guys shared. Since this was my last show of six in a row before a small break I enjoyed it especially much and spend extra time watching each of the guys play. It is wonderful watching them work and I tried to commit this to my memory thinking “this, right here is what you love”, noting how they close their eyes when they play, how they smile or how they occasionally frown in concentration. All these details make the concert even better. 🙂 I could not stop smiling all night.

‘Himinhvel’ and ‘Things you said’ were amazing, with not a note out of place.The band really was on fire that night. Now there was only ‘Passion’ left in the main set and the song killed me. The tears that had been waiting all night finally came out and I cried silently, not bothering to wipe them off my face. I didn’t mind anyone seeing how deeply moved and how happy I was. Nobody noticed though and as they bowed I looked at each of them, smiling again. I felt so much love for the guys then and was really proud of them too.

The audience cheered for them to come back and when they asked if we wanted one more someone replied “or two or three or five.” 😀 ‘Góda veslu göra skal’ was again done in the crowd and much appreciated. Last was of course ‘Nú gleymist ég’ and a high point of the show as always. I still cannot get enough of that song. 🙂 When it was over I sighed deeply. Everyone loved the show and continued clapping through the ‘Órói’ outtro. That song has grown on me since they started using it as the song to mark the end of the show. It fits.

This night was special in so many ways and the tour had been so good this far that I wanted to thank each of the guys before leaving them for a few days. I managed to talk to everyone but Daníel so that will have to wait until after Berlin. I had a nice chat with all the others though and shared some hugs. After that A. and I stayed at the venue for drinks and had some great conversations. to our surprise the night didn’t end there but at another bar in the good company of Jean-Samuel and Ragnar having more good conversations over more drinks. Thank you all for a truly special night!

pictures of this concert

Setlist

While this Way
Lover
Please Help me
Vetur að vori
Ljóð í sand
In the Wake of You
Mute
Þar sem enginn fer
Shades

acoustic set:
Sunday Morning
Kill Us

Entangled
Like Snow
Friðþægingin
Himinhvel
Things You Said
Passion

Góda veslu göra skal
Nú gleymist ég

Nivalis winter tour: 14 gigs down, 4 to go. Next stop: Berlin

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