Árstíðir & Kyle Woolard – Café Galao, Stuttgart; April 21st, 2016
Thursday was supposed to be a quiet day at the office. A day where I would make up a few hours I had used on this tour so far, call it an early night and catch up on some sleep. At least that was the plan until I asked Ragnar what they were gonna do on the two off days after Switzerland and he told me they might play a gig at a café is Stuttgart. Thus I asked him (and for good measure Gunnar too) to keep me in the loop, left work in the early afternoon on Thursday and hopped on a train before I even knew the secret gig was actually going to happen. Abut an hour after leaving Dortmund I finally got confirmation and was able to relax.
Everything went smoothly and I arrived at Café Galao a bit after 7 pm. The large blackboard on the wall read: “Special show: ARTÍSDÍR feat. Kyle Woolard”. So after ordering a drink I had to correct them. The owner drew an arrow above the S , showing where it belonged and other corrections it sort of read: “ÁRSTÍÐÍR” – close enough 😉
I had no idea when they would start, but spent the time blogging and chatting with the people around me. Eventually the guys arrive, minus Karl (who was spending the off days elsewhere) and Guillaume (who had gone home to work after Aschaffenburg). While they soundchecked the café slowly filled up. It was a nice place with good atmosphere and very friendly staff. I liked it from the moment I walked in.
During soundcheck, Kyle made up completely new lyrics to ‘Vancouver’, singing about what he was doing and what he had done all day – brilliant! It took a while to get everything set up, but I had a nice seat almost on the stage, a good glass of wine in my hand and didn’t mind waiting at all. I had immediately decided on not taking pictures so it was a very relaxed night for me.
Some time after 9 pm, Kyle started playing. He did a short set with five songs only, but got a great response. The audience was lively and chatty, making comments and throwing in questions all night, but also listening attentively. As far as café gigs go, this one was a s close to perfect as it gets. He even did the CD sales talk to much laughter. For ‘Occupy Anchorage’ the others asked him if he needed help and they joked about what they could do. “Can you play keyboards?” “A little” “And you, what do u do?” “I sing.” “OK”. It was all light hearted, good-natured fun. The audience loved it and did a gret job with the Vancouver sing-along as well. 🙂
Without further ado or any break, Daníel, Gunnar and Ragnar took their places on stage. I was wondering what a trio show would be like and which songs they would pick. They made up the setlist as they went, but their choices were perfect. It was a good mixture of their own songs and a few covers. A few people knew them and someone even requested ‘Kill us’ which fit perfectly! The audience response was great, they loved the music, laughed at the stories and even sang along for the cover songs.
They started with ‘Someone who cares’ and ‘Silfurskin’ back to back, the killer combo from Aschaffenburg. I was already smiling happily and might have been content with just those two, but it surely didn’t end there. The third song was a cover of Buffalo Springfield’s ‘For what it’s worth’ which was pretty damn awesome. The guys said they used to do it all the time when they were playing bars as a trio. It seemed like they remembered those days fondly.
‘Sunday Morning’ made me smile like it always does. It can bring me close to tears, but there is so much hope in this song that it always picks me up in the end. Somewhere during the song I was looking at Ragnar and shared a few lines with him. ‘Days & Nights’ was next, including the story about getting stuck in a corn field in Iowa on the US tour when the bus broke down. It led to some funny banter with the Americans in the house regarding if Iowa really was that bad. 😀 ‘Ljoð í sand’ followed, but without Kyle this time and after ‘Ages’ somebody yelled for ‘Kill us’.
First it was time for some Crosby, Stills and Nash though with ‘Find the cost of freedom’. It was awesome and ‘Kill us’ was really powerful too. I had missed that song. They asked us for requests and I joked if this was the point in time where someone ought to yell “Slayer” from the back. They grinned, but of course nobody else got the joke. Covering ‘Come together’ at this point was the perfect choice though with many people singing along.
Another cover followed: Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Simple Man’ . I loved it. The wanted to stop there, but we yelled for more, so once again they asked for requests, I wanted to hear ‘Látum okkur sjá’, another song I have missed, but they decided it was too slow and played ‘You just have to know of me’ instead. It ended the show on a high note and they left the small stage to much cheering.
After the show they mingled, I had a nice chat and a few shots with Ragnar and K. and her friend whom I had just met there. It was almost too loud to talk, but somehow we managed and I would have missed the last subway, had K. not reminded me that we needed to go. In hindsight, after a sleepless night at my hostel, I know I should have stayed, but it was a good night either way, so no regrets there.
A great big thanks goes out to Árstíðir for having me and to the wonderful owner of Café Galao.
Someone who cares
For what it’s worth (Buffalo Springfield cover)
Days & Nights
Ljoð í sand
Find the cost of freedom (Cosby, Stills & Nash)
Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)
You just have to know of me
Árstíðir spring tour: 5 concerts down, 15 to go, next stop: Esslingen (Neckar)