I’ve traveled far and I’ve stayed in one place…

Árstíðir – Malzhaus, Plauen; September 29th, 2012

I ended my last blog about Árstíðir with the hope to see them again soon. I didn’t take me long to decided that next year was not soon enough. The only gig possible was the one in Plauen – who cares that it’s 500 kilometers and a 7+ hours train ride? I’ve done worse or rather traveled further 😉

When my alarm went off in the morning I briefly wondered why I was doing this to myself, but got up anyway. The train would not be waiting for me. Shortly before 8 I left Dortmund and arrived in Plauen at 3 in the afternoon. Nice city, cute little houses. Spent some time walking around before checking out the location. They were supposed to open at 7 so I got there half and hour before. Met a nice couple that I hung out with for the rest of the night.

When the doors opened we took some seats in front row. The stage was not as high as in Osnabrück and the seats were a lot closer this time. When we walked in the guys were still on stage and smiled when they saw me. Good start. 🙂
We left for a while and checked out the entire place. I decided to remain upstairs in the beginning because I could take pictures of the full band from there.

Shortly after 8 they were announced and walked on stage. As soon as they played the first notes I knew why I had come all this way. The music was so beautiful it filled my heart with joy. I immediately felt the smile spread on my face and this time I could even sing along – to the English songs anyway. I tried with some of the Icelandic ones as well, but that didn’t really work. 😉 And no, I’m not even gonna try to learn yet another Nordic language…

I stayed upstairs for 5 or 6 songs, then just had to go back to my seat in front row and be closer to the action. Once again I don’t really know how to describe what I heard other than saying it was really amazing. To quote Poets of the Fall “and if words should fail here, I’ll just read the way you sound, ’til I know the meaning of love and life” and that’s exactly what their music transports so well – powerful emotions that must be felt and lived, not explained. I’ve listened to both albums a lot in the past week, I’ve read the lyrics and even used Google to translate the Icelandic ones. I still have only a very rough idea of what they are singing about, at least as long as I try to understand it with my mind. Yet, as soon as I shut off my thoughts, open my mind and listen mostly with my heart, I get all sorts of images of beauty, some happy and some sad.

Now that I’ve been listening to their music a lot, I’ve picked my favorites among the songs, I’ve learned to distinguish their voices and I’ve learned that I really enjoy hearing a cello. I also like the melancholia in many of the songs. I don’t yet know them well enough to speak about them individually; I cannot name all of them yet when I hear them. What I can say is that the English songs have grown on me, after paying more attention to the lyrics. Yet I still very much like the feeling I get from the Icelandic songs. I just wish I understood the words.

Either way, I enjoyed listening as well as watching. The guys are very much in the music when they play and sing, eyes often closed, putting everything into the songs. They don’t talk all that much, but unlike most other bands I’ve seen, it’s not only one of hem who announces the songs – they all sing and they all say something about the songs they are singing.

Again, it was over too soon. The entire audience stood, yelling for more. It made me happy to see them get standing ovations. It was well deserved. One encore and they had to leave, but they spent a lot of time talking to people afterwards. I had a nice chat with Ragnar, Gunnar and Jon, even translating a bit at times. Since I stayed around for so long I got to hear another encore. A German counple arrived late. They’d driven a long way to se the band, but got stuck in traffic and missed everything. Thus, the guys sang one more song for them, right there. It was awesome. 😀

Setlist

Sunday Morning
Heiðin
You just have to know of me
Brestir
Látum okkur sjá
Þér eg unni
Næturylur
Kill us
Ljóð í sand
Days ‘n’ nights
Lost in you
Á meðan jörðin sefur
Við dagsins hnig
Heyr himna smiður
Til hennar
Nú gleymist ég
Shades / Tárin

Encore
Land mins födur

I had a hard time leaving, but felt I’d already stayed too long. Thus, I went downstairs to the basement to see La Chiva Gantiva. They were fun, but I had a hard time getting into it, wasn’t really in the mood for a second concert. By the end, I liked it, but more because the band was entertaining to watch than because I liked the music. It was just a bit too much of a contrast for me. Doesn’t matter though, they were just added bonus. Árstíðir, the band I’d come for were well worth the trip.  The countdown to the next concert has already started: 6 weeks. 🙂

Setlist La Chiva Gantiva

Amamar
Pelao
Cosmeticos
P’arriba
Pa q’ca
Por eso canto
Choffer
La pecosa
Llora
Pa que gozen
Apretao

Encore
Migrana
La chiva

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