“My favorite sound in music is silence”

Ragnar Ólafsson – Trzeci Księżyc, Kazimierz Dolny; June 10th 2017

In Kazimiers Dolny, the 12th stop on Ragnar’s tour, I strongly felt it was all coming to an end. Not so much at the concert which was a really relaxed and happy one, but before and after. It was a somewhat difficult day for me that I spent mostly in a zombified state because I was so tired. Luckily, as soon as the music started, most of my sad feelings dropped away from me and by the end I had a smile on my face. The venue was small, with tables it held around 20 people and despite others being in the rooms on either side and some looking it it felt rather intimate. The perfect place for delicate music like this.

It had been a long trip from the previous venue. Since I did not know if anyone would drive me to the bus stop, I was up early, ready to walk. Luckily, I managed to talk the staff into driving me to Lóniow instead of Klimontów, which saved me an hours of waiting and even gave me time for breakfast. If only I’d figured that out the night before I could have slept longer. Hindsight… In Lublin, where I had to change busses, I could not find the right bus stop at first and missed one of them, but luckily they go frequently. Once in Kazimierz Dolny all I wanted to do was sleep, could not be bothered to walk around and take a look at the pretty city. I did eventually, but nowhere near as thoroughly as I could have. There was a hill to climb for instance, but I passed., just too tired to enjoy any of it.

I had stopped by the venue in the afternoon and misunderstood that I needed to reserve a place there. Thus, when I returned I ended up by the door, standing.It was a grea spot though, with a perfect view of the small stage. I was in time for souncheck and got to hear and see Ragnar rehearse with Ewa. She was not quite happy with her performance, but I thought she did great and the sound was really good too. People filed in, all tables filled, the got food and drinks too, but the waiters managed to bring  it unobtrusively so even during the concert it did not cause any distraction. 🙂

People were chatting, but most of that died down as soon as Ragnar walked on stage. Everyone really wanted to listen. He did introductions in Polish again and told us which sound was the most difficult one for Scandinavian tongues. Well, Icelandic isn’t a piece of cake either. 😛 After the first song he asked if it was OK to turn of the fan next to the stage, because it was distracting. “It’s a nice fan, but not a fan of my music”. People in the next room asked for the music to be turned up – a good sign. Several people smiled when they saw me sing along the whole time. 🙂

Again, Magda translated some of the stories. Later, when she wasn’t available for a little while, someone else took over. 🙂 By now I know the setlist so well that I can concentrate on other things and watch the audience from time to time too. Also, with standing in the back, that was a lot easier than it is from my usual spot at the front. 🙂 Despite watching people and filming a few songs I managed to completely get lost in the music. <3 Ragnar told us his favorite sound in music was silence, as he takes a small break in every song and continues after. So far that has worked surprisingly well and most audiences recognized that the song wasn’t over yet, this one included.

It was time for Ewa to join him on singing ‘Dozen’ and it was lovely. Her parents proudly watched from the door and hugged her after. I was looking forward to hear her sing again later. ‘Every Brick in Manhattan’ seemed absolutely perfect that night. The song still makes me happy and the story about wanting to count all the bricks always makes people laugh. Even more laughter, of course, came about with the story accompanying ‘The Cannon’. This time Ragnar described John as flower-power-Hippie and gun-toting-cowboy and made a peace sign with one hand and signaled a gun with the other. 😀 By now he is always using his guitar to demonstrate shooting a rifle. It works. Everyone understands that and laughs even before he points to the scar on his forehead. “It’s also a metaphorical story, because sometimes love can hit you in the face”. Great version of the song too.

Apparently the wine was really good that night too, but it was white so we didn’t get to hear ‘Red Wine’. He asked if we wanted a depressing or a happy song and I answered “both”, but several people asked for “happy” so he decided it was a happy place, so we only heard ‘Vegetate’. Fine with me, it fit the general mood in the room. 🙂 Before that and before ‘Urges’ he told us about the frogs the previous night, adding that there are no frogs in Iceland and he played us a file from his phone. It was funny all over again. we also learned that he had written a poem about it, but did not want to share, because it was too dirty. We got the wedding story too at Magda’s request. Everyone laughed at the Bon Jovi impression, but I’m pretty sure we are not gonna hear the song in full again. Apparently the seven shots of vodka before playing it, made him feel very confident and rock out on his knees, screaming and stuff. I have seen Lightspeed Legend, I know what that looks like. 😉 It sounded like it was fun though and judging by the pictures on Facebook and according to Magda everyone loved it and was partying. 😀 He also won a basked full of vodka for the performance.

‘Petals’ was next, together with lovely Ewa, who did a great job on this one too. Most of the singers come so well prepared, it is truly amazing. As she walked of they decided to do this again some time and joked about who has whose phone number and how they could reach each other. Then, everyone did a perfect “awww” in unison and on cue for the last song. We even repeated it louder when asked too. It works every time. 🙂 Ragnar told us a little about looking back on his life and how you reflect after a relationship falls apart, wondering what to learn from it. He also described the tapes he found of himself being three years old and talking about clowns which fit in so well with feeling like a sad clown. A powerful version of ‘Scar’ followed. People loved it and shouted for more.

The encore stayed the same too, ‘Bravery’ and the two murder ballads. It is great every time, with and without sing-along. This time, I was the only one who sang on ‘Where the wild Roses grow’, but then again I sing along to every song. Funnily enough I did not know the full lyrics to the before this tour. Anyway, before ‘Bravery’ the mic stand tipped over, but he caught it with ease and shared the story of being high up in the mountains with a great view that was a great inspiration. ‘Sleep now’ was the perfect closer then, complete with joking that we should not be afraid and that he’s a nice guy despite the murderous song. 🙂

It felt like almost everyone in the audience bought a CD this time. Lots of people did. The one box Ragnar had brought to the gig was almost empty at the end. 😀 Some came to chat, we had a nice talk about music and metal with K., who happens to be a translator for German. After most people where gone I sat with Ragnar and Magda while they had dinner, looking at the art on the Cafés wall, having the words translated by Magda and just enjoying being around. It was a nice end to the evening. 🙂

pictures of this concert

Urges tour Poland: 12 gigs down, 2 to go. Next stop: Radzyń Podlaski

Setlist

More will come along
Wine
War
Dozen
Every Brick in Manhattan
The Cannon
Urges
Vegetate
Petals
Scar

Bravery
Where the wild Roses grow
Sleep now

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