Árstíðir – Christuskirche, Hagen; October 2nd, 2014
This time around the tour break only lasted for four days, but after the intense week of concerts just before that it felt completely surreal to go back to work on Monday morning. Either way, after four days at the office I was back for the last concert of Árstíðir’s Germany tour, ready to be amazed again. The venue was beautiful, I loved it instantly. Yet, it took me some time to get into the concert. All is well that ends well though and when it was over I did not want to let them go.
It had been a while for me since I’d gone to one of their concerts after work, but this one was close to home for a change. Upon arrival I met L. who had guessed the feathers on my shirt at Aschaffenburg. Turns out he came all the way from Belgium. Great! We sat outside on a bench chatting and waiting for the doors to open. The guys came out after soundcheck, waved hello and went for dinner while we got inside and claimed seats at the front. At first there were not many people around and I feared this was it, but slowly, more and more arrived and soon the church was nicely filled.
They kept us waiting for a bit, but it wasn’t long before they walked down the aisle and stepped onto stage. Just seeing them there made me happy – this was the moment I’d been looking forward to all day. 🙂 At first the sound was off somehow. I could not pinpoint what it was, but it didn’t sound right. It got fixed soon though and from then on the concert was just the way it’s supposed to be with delicate music filling the air. Just beautiful. <3
Again, the first set was mostly filled with songs from their first two albums, while most of the new ones were saved for the second set. I love how they ease the audience into the new songs by starting on familiar territory. By now I can hear each album’s unique voice, even though I have not heard all the new songs yet. In some cases they have said who wrote which new song, in some they have not, but I can guess. It will be interesting to see if I was right. We got to hear a few stories too, some already familiar after the tour, one completely new to me. Daníel told how ‘Heiðin’ was written for a contest during the financial crisis in Iceland, calling for songs that would give people hope. Not that I have any idea what the song is about, but it sure sounds hopeful, filling my head and heart with images of calm and beauty.
I absolutely cannot get enough of ‘Sifurskin’ and ‘Someone who cares’. Both songs touch me deeply every time I hear them. These two, with ‘Lost in you’ and ‘Days & Nights’ in-between would have been enough to make my night. 😀 The four songs in a row were almost too much to bear. What followed was an amazing version of ‘Land mins föður’ for which the guys decided to step away from the microphones and off the stage. I left people stunned and they only were woken from that state by ‘Shades’ only to be stunned again, this time by the power of the song. It is perfect to end a set and leave people in silence for a while before they realize the song is over and the cheering begins. In fact almost every song ended in silence before the audience realized it was time to clap. 🙂
During the break I talked with L. from Belgium for a bit. He only found them in late 2013 and never saw the “old band”. It was interesting to hear from someone who cannot compare the before and after. The same had happened with K. and A. I realized that for me too, the “old band” feels a long way in the past, even though they still existed only one year ago. It left me wondering at how quickly it goes until a change becomes the way it has always been.
Set two started with ‘Ró’ – interestingly enough they started without everyone being on stage and the piano served to call the rest of the band out. I thought Karl was not going to join Ragnar on the piano this time around, but he did. This version of the song is a good one. I like how it sounds and I like how they interact while playing together. It just got better from there, every song just right, each one equally touching. I almost forgot taking pictures and a few times I just decided not to, rather listening. The rest of the audience seemed to like it as much as I did, not matter if it was their first concert or if they’d seen the band before. I believe it is next to impossible to listen to their music and not feel the emotions it brings. The words, while beautiful, are not the important part here. It’s the sound as a whole, the different instruments intertwined with the voices that makes this so powerful and so hard to turn away from. The secret lies in the way they play together as one, each member’s contribution perfectly in tune with the others. To some people it may seem strange that they do not have a lead singer, but that is exactly what makes them so good. It’s all about the band. 🙂
Once again the end of the set came too soon and as the last notes of ‘Nú gleymist ég’ rang out, I found it hard to believe it was almost over. People rose from their seats, loudly demanding more. They made us wait just a little, but of course they came back with the already proven trio of ‘Ljoð í sand’, ‘Kill us’ and ‘Because’, the last one sung in the aisle, among the audience. It took a long time before people stopped clapping and for a moment I hoped the guys might play another one, but all good concerts end eventually and so did this one. I’m sure the next time around, the church will be filled completely.
I hung out for a while to chat and say goodbye. Of course there will be one more gig for me, but that one being a festival, it may be more difficult to talk to the guys. I hugged some of them, talked, said goodbye to Linda, who was leaving the tour the next day and wished them all a safe trip before I made my way home. Goodnight guys, see you soon.
You just have to know of me
Orð að eigin vali
Days & Nights
Lost in you
Someone who cares
Land mins föður
Á meðan jörðin sjefur
Heyr, himna smidur
Nú gleymist ég
Ljoð í sand
Árstíðir Germany Tour 2014: 9 concerts down, 1 to go. Next stop: Utrecht