Árstíðir – Kirche St. Agathen, Schopfheim-Fahrnau; September 27th, 2014
Schopfheim was the one and only fully acoustic gig of the Árstíðir tour. It took place at a small church and the organizers insisted that they play without any technical equipment. It was a good choice and worked exceptionally well. It was a challenge for the guys, but they readily accepted it and turned the concert into a beautiful and rather intimate experience. People sat close together and close to the low stage, so any sound could be heard everywhere. Thus, the audience took great care in keeping quiet and even the band was careful whenever they moved. The atmosphere was breathtaking.
It had been a long day on the road with very little sleep for me. I missed my tour family already, but was looking forward to seeing my friend C. and taking her to her first full Árstíðir concert. So far she had only seen them as a support act and knowing she’d even get a special acoustic one tonight made me happy. 🙂 Unfortunately it turned out she could not make, because she got the stomach flue that morning, so I found myself stranded without a place to stay or anyone to talk to. After allowing for a few moments of despair, I picked myself up, rang the doorbell at a nearby hotel and asked for a room. They had one left and finally I could catch up on some much needed sleep. The world looked much sunnier after and a nice evening walk around the town made me feel calm and relaxed. 🙂
Arriving at the church I waved to the guys, had a quick chat with Masha and talked to some of the other people who had come for the concert. By the time the doors opened there was a nice long line. I was one of the first people in and immediately sought out a place in front row – what a huge happy surprise it was to find out the seat I wanted had already been reserved for me. 😀 It felt like I was going to be sitting on stage (almost anyway) and I decided that this was going to be the night without (many) pictures. Talked to Guillaume, Karl and Linda briefly, then just waited for the show to start.
The first song was ‘Silfurskin’ this time, what a great start! Through the whole week of touring I never told the guys how beautiful I think this song is and once again it was absolutely stunning. They took great care not to play too loudly so they would not drown out the singing and their voices filled the room. Without much reverb in the church I feared it would be difficult for everything to be heard clearly, but the audience was so wonderfully quiet and the acoustics generally good so it worked. While they sang, you could have heard a pin drop (or a camera click) – perfect!
They talked about how the first album is more guitar picking, while the second is chamber music and of course we got the stories for ‘The Cannon’ and ‘Shine’ too, the first one getting lots of laughs as usual. 😀 Other than that I didn’t pay much attention to the people around me this time, but they must have been enjoying what they heard since they kept so quiet. I was busy watching the guys and getting lost in the music. Even after over 50 concerts it can still carry me away or cure any bad mood in an instant. 😀
I had expected to be overly emotional knowing this was the last concert before the tour break and not being able to share it with my friends, but I was strangely calm. From time to time I forgot to breathe though, because I was so caught up in the music’s beauty and only noticed it when a song was over.
During the second set they brought ‘Látum okkur sjá’ back, one of my all time favorites. It made me happy to hear it again. 🙂 The most perfect song of the night might have been ‘You again’ though – this version was just otherworldly. Of course, being in a church the band had to play a few a cappella numbers, among them ‘Heyr, himna smiður’, which was also very beautiful that night. It seemed as if the added challenge of having no microphones made them sing even better than usual.
Before the encores I ran up to the balcony to take in the view from there for a while, but even though the place was so small it was too far away and I needed to be back at the front, right in the middle of everything. The guys received a basked full of food and drinks, which they happily accepted and played a few more songs for us. The standing ovations were well deserved and ‘Because’ was the perfect calming song to send us home after the brilliantly dramatic ‘Kill us’. Wow! As they walked off stage for the final time this week, Gunnar gave me a hi-five on the way. Such a nice touch at the end (pun fully intended).
The church emptied quickly and not so many people stayed for a chat. I talked to Guillaume a bit who said being so close to the audience made him conscious of every move. 🙂 We also found out that we both will have a few days of work and “real life” going on before the next concert. When there were only a handful of people left, Karl handed his bow over to Masha and spontaneously started strumming ‘Get lucky’ on his violin. Gunnar and Ragnar fell right in singing with him so we were all treated to one last encore. 😀 Spent some time talking to a girl who was like me after the first concert: Completely overwhelmed and wanting to see them again right away. I’m sure she’ll be back soon. Afterwards it was time for hugs and goodbyes.
See you in five days guys, miss you already!
Setlist (order may be wrong)
Orð að eigin vali
Day & Nights
Heyr, himna smiður
Lost in you
Someone who cares
You just have to know of me
Land mins föður
Látum okkur sjá
Nú gleymist ég
Ljoð í sand
Árstíðir Germany Tour 2014: 8 concerts down, 2 to go. Next stop: Hagen