Kyle’s last night, biking and the most perfect song

Árstíðir & Kyle Woolard – Savoy, Bordesholm; April 27th, 2016

I’m not sure there are words to describe how I feel right now, how I felt that night, when the world stopped turning for about six minutes and every fiber in my body was focused on the reception of one song: my song. It has been a long time coming, but was fully worth the wait. They could not have made it more perfect. That alone made my night (not to mention, my week, month, year), but it wasn’t the only great thing about the Árstíðir concert in Bordesholm. The night was pretty amazing overall. 🙂 <3

Almost exactly two years ago, in April 2014, Árstíðir had started their Kickstarter campaign. The moment I saw one of the rewards they offered was a song, I knew it was what I wanted. I didn’t think twice, what could be more amazing than one of your favorite bands writing a song for you? I also knew it would take them a while to deliver and I was OK with that, telling the guys from the start that I did not want anything rushed. I hadn’t exactly expected to wait for this long, much less all the ups and downs that would happen during that time. So much time spent together, so many concerts seen, so many stories to tell. So much time to doubt my initial decision… Patience is not one of my virtues, but I strongly believe there are some things in life worth waiting for and I knew in my heart this was one of them.

When the Germany tour started in Hagen, Gunnar told me they’d play the other two backer’s songs, but not mine yet, promising I’d hear it later this tour. After the Berlin show I asked if playing it in Bordesholm was possible and they said they would try. So when I arrived at the venue too early that night I did my best not to hear anything of the soundcheck (yay for my iPod). Before the concert I took a deep breath and promised myself to enjoy all the songs, not spend my time waiting. It was surprisingly easy to let go and be in the moment for each and every song. 🙂

It was Kyle’s last night on the tour. He was going off for a few gigs on his own before returning home. It was lovely to see him one last time. I had been hoping for a slightly different seltlist, but there was no such luck. Not that it mattered much. He put all he had into the songs and was well received by the audience. Like in Berlin, Karl supported him for ‘Minnesota Part 1’ and ‘Fools rush in’ with the rest of the band coming out for ‘Occupy Anchorage’ and three of them sneaking up behind Kyle for ‘Minnesota’ as well. By now I was able to sing along to most of the lyrics and Kyle smiled when he noticed.

At least some people in the audience must have know him already from last fall and everyone else soon understood what an amazing musician he is. His music or rather The Anatomy of Frank’s music is the perfect mixture of melancholia and hope. And he is a good storyteller to boot. I loved the performance, felt every song, sang along as much as I could and will surely miss him during the second half of this tour.

Setlist:

Blurry
Minnesota part 1
Patagonia
Ecuador
Fools rush in
Occupy Anchorage
Vancouver

Spent the break saying hello to Kyle and chatting with G. and I. Wanted a glass of wine very much, but decided to enjoy this concert sober. There would be time for wine afterwards. 😉 My camera was getting a break as well. Not this night! I was anxious about hearing my song – in both senses of the word. Yet as soon as the guys walked on stage I let go and was right there with them, feeling each song.

They started with ‘Someone who cares’ once again. I really like the new order of things. 🙂 Suddenly a memory came to me from a day in Wolomin where I first heard this song during soundcheck – fell in love with it then and have not stopped loving it since. That night it was the perfect start of the show and allowed me to fall straight into the music, singing along, smiling. ‘Við dagsins hnig’ was next, then the wonderful ‘Sunday Morning’. Another one of my favorites and a reminder that even when life looks bleak once in a while, things will get better. “You don’t have to worry…”

‘Þér ég unni‘ was the fist a cappella song of the night. It still makes me happy to have this back in the set. 🙂 ‘Shine’ had changed yet again. This version had more echo and more instrumentation. I loved it and had goose bumps all over by the end. 😀 For ‘Ljoð í sand’ Kyle was on stage with them for the last time, singing his heart out. <3 Then Ragnar announced ‘Systir’ as a new song and work in progress. Since the other backer’s song had come after it in Hagen, I hoped for the same and checked my phone one last time to make sure it was still recording.

After ‘Systir’ Gunnar noted that it felt strange to talk about it as a new song, compared to the upcoming one. He told a little bit about Kickstarter, then explained that the song was for me, the first idea happened a year and a half ago and the final arrangements happened in the car on the way. I looked at him while he talked, but as soon as they started playing, I did what I always do with new music: Open my mind to the sounds and close my eyes to shut out the world. I was immediately carried away by the music into a world of my own.

There I was with my eyes closed, holding my breath and shaking like a leaf. With the first few notes any doubts I might have had fell off me and I started smiling. Not wanting to break the magic I kept my eyes mostly closed only looking up twice to assure myself I wasn’t dreaming. From time to time I even remembered to breathe, but it was a conscious effort. The music was absolutely perfect. Just the right mixture of piano, guitars and strings, fast and slow, beautiful. As for the lyrics, I didn’t fully understand them, but right then and there it didn’t matter at all, because the bits and pieces that I caught could not have fit better. I knew then and there that I would cry over this eventually, but the tears didn’t come until much later that night. For the moment I was just tremendously happy. <3

When the song was over I looked up and smiled at the guys “thank you!” I mouthed. I did not have any more words. I felt I.’s hand on my back, supporting me and turned to her for a moment. All I managed to stammer was “breathe, just breathe” more as a reminder to myself than anything.

‘You again’ was next and suddenly Gunnar’s microphone died so he just used Ragnar’s which led to some laughter. ‘Shades’ was like an explosion of energy in the room and the beautiful ‘Silfurskin’ brought me close to tears again. ‘Himinhvel’ and ‘Things you said’ closed the set. Of course we called them back for ‘Ages’ and ‘Góda veslu göra skal’ before they left us with a final bow.

Setlist:

Someone who cares
Við dagsins hnig
Sunday Morning
Þér ég unni
Á meðan jörðin sjefur
Nú gleymist ég
Shine
Ljoð í sand
Systir
The nameless song
You again
Shades
Silfurskin
Himinhvel
Things you said

Ages
Góda veslu göra skal

When it was over, I did not quite trust myself to get up at first, still feeling weak in the knees, but finally did. G. came to me for a hug and congratulated me on the song. I. also hugged me. Suddenly Ragnar was standing in front of me so I hugged him and told him the song was perfect. Then I went to Gunnar and told him the same. Finally got a glass of wine too and even scored some cake from the guys. Told each of them I’d loved the song and that I stopped breathing. Guillaume joked that he was happy I did not faint doing that. Karl told me he’s tried to convince the guys not to rehearse it at all and just leave it raw. It was raw enough for me and wonderful. Gunnar said he made up the lyrics, because he could not concentrate on two things at once. Ragnar gave me his chords and lyrics sheet, but I was not ready to look at it yet.

We stayed for a long time, talking, joking, saying goodbye to Kyle. When I. retrieved her folding bike she had to show it to the guys and Kyle and Ragnar took a ride on it through the cinema. It was funny. Even funnier was Kyle’s Salmiakki face though. I had brought a bottle for all to share and he’d never had it before. He did not like it at all. 😉
Finally they packed up and it was time for M., I. and me to go and catch the last train.

It was a long night with three train rides and a lot of waiting in–between. M. left us in Neumünster and I. was with me until Hamburg. I was excited and I chatted a lot – about anything but my song. We said goodbye in the train station hall and I was alone. Sitting at Mac Café, way too tired to think and only trying to keep awake until my train left, I edited some pictures while the whole concert replayed in my head. . I remembered the lyrics sheet Ragnar had given me and took it out. The tears came as soon as I had read the first few lines. Not only was the music perfect, but so were the words. Every one hit home. I felt a lot of doors open in my mind, some of which were supposed to remain closed, but that could not keep the huge smile off my face. I knew they would write me a good song, I hoped it would be a great one, but not in my wildest dreams did I imagine anything like this. After only one listen my soul still resonated with the power of the music and now, with the words added I was completely overwhelmed with the emotions that brought.

On to the train, dozing off, then another lengthy stop in Hannover and another Mac Café (hey! Free wifi 😉 ) Finally I took out my phone and listened to the concert recording. Unfortunately I could not fast forward, so I had to listen from the start. It didn’t matter, I got there eventually and even though it is a crappy recording it is more than enough to keep the memories alive. I smiled all the way home.

Even now, three days later I still have not quite processes what this song has done to me. After some unsuccessful tries I managed to isolate it from the recording and have listened to it a gazillion times since, crying and smiling and being in awe. All I can say is thank you Árstíðir, you did the most perfect job possible and it was totally worth the long wait. I so not have the adequate words in my vocabulary to express how I feel right now, so maybe a list will do: grateful, happy, loved, overwhelmed, a little bit scared in a good way, understood, lucky, melancholic, wonderful…

Árstíðir spring tour: 9 concerts down, 11 to go, next stop: Flensburg

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