Svavar Knútur / The Rocketboys – Subway, Cologne; September 27th, 2017
I had come to Cologne straight from Reykjavik via Frankfurt airport and I had not slept on the flight or the train. Thus I was dead tired, even after two hours in my hostel bed and already dreaded having to work the next day. Well, it wasn’t the first time I’ve made sacrifices for the artists I love and I have never regretted it. Thinking I may not enjoy a concert just because I am tired is almost always wrong and it was this time. The music instantly woke me up and I loved every minute of it from the first note The Rocketboys played to Svavar’s last encore. It was a great last night of the tour for me.
Since the first time I had seen them in Berlin The Rocketboys had grown on me and this night brought their best concert yet. I loved every song in their set and was even able to sing along to a few of them. My favorite so far is ‘Viva Voce’. What a great and beautiful song! All the songs I have heard so far are lovely and they come across as really nice people too. I certainly hope I get the chance to see them as a full band once. That night, everyone in the room seemed to agree that we liked them. We cheered them on. sang along and clapped loudly between songs. I enjoyed it so much I might have even shed a few tears. “Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now? I’m singing out as loud as I know how, but am I loud enough?” The song really spoke to me at that moment and I would not have wanted to be anywhere else but right than an there. Isn’t that what music is all about. Making you feel? Making you live in the moment and forgetting all your worries, leaving behind tiredness and whatever else may be bothering you. I did that night, right from the start. 🙂
After their set Svavar told us how much he enjoys traveling with them and that they are already making plans to bring them back to Germany next year. Of course after those happy songs he had to bring us down first and play some not so happy songs. 😉 First though he explained Australian science to us – I can say the methods are certainly not boring. And if they found out breakups are good, they must be. 😛
This night we got some Icelandic lessons along with classes on Svavar’s favorite German words. It never hurts to learn some Icelandic. If only I could remember them later. Not only did he translate Icelandic for us, he also translated birds. Apparently they do not have many things to talk about. Somehow this all made me think of the seagulls in ‘Finding Nemo’ saying nothing but “Mine! Mine! Mine!” He was in a very talkative mood once again, sharing many stories between the songs, often illustrating them with moves. It is so much fun to watch and impossible to describe. My belly hurt from laughing by the end of the night and I’m sure many others must have felt the same.
All the songs were beautiful too though, no matter if sad or funny. There are so many true emotions to be found and to be felt when Svavar plays. It doesn’t even matter to me if he sings if English or Icelandic. ‘Undir Birkitré’ and ‘Wanderlust’ included a great sing-along and we did not even have to be prompted much. Somewhere along the way we learned that Cologne almost did not make it on the tour list originally, but due to persistent friends and fortunate circumstances Svavar ended up there anyway. It would have been a pity if he had never played there. The audience is always amazing and it was this night. Welcoming and sweet.
We got to hear ‘Fuzzy’ again and ‘Clementine’, which was another great sing along. He attested us we were the best city at singing along. At one point he asked us if we wanted the political correct version of a story or the dirty one. Really, did you have to ask? 😀 While being on story mode he also told us the best trick to fuck with Americans. I have to try that the next time around. I’m pretty sure it works. What it is? Well if I told you, it would not work any more, now would it? 😉
For ‘The Curtain’ he invited his friend Hanna on stage to sing with him and she also joined him for ‘Baby would you marry me’. It was beautiful. She looked familiar, so I wondered if I’d seen her singing with Svavar before, but I cannot recall if I did. either way, I loved it. 🙂 ‘Ev’ry Time we say goodbye’ was back on the setlist and to my surprise that was followed with ‘Band Bang’. I love his version of that song. <3
Towards the end of the show we learned how to have fun on a farm and things you can learn from the animals. Humans are so similar to them. 😉 ‘Brot’ and ‘Yfir hóla og yfir hæðir’ were great and before the last song he told us that he is working on a new theater piece at the moment that will premier in Recklinghausen. I fondly remember the last time I saw him at the theater. Maybe I can make it happen again. ‘Girl from Vancouver’ ended the set.
Needless to say we did not let him go just yet and he was right back for ‘Here comes the hurting’. Somehow the song had a Johnny Cash feel for me that night which is a good thing. It was very powerful wth lots of screaming involved. I liked it! I have no idea what the next piece was, a mashup of several ones I think. The first part was something about being halfway up the stairs. It was a cute little ukulele song, turning into Beck’s ‘True Love will find you in the end’ for which Svavar called The Rocketboys on stage. As the grand finale they performed ‘The Best’ together and it was the best version yet. The perfect ending to the show and to my tour!
Once they had left the stage I went to the merch stand for a chat and said goodbye to Brandon, Justin and Svavar, thanking them for the great concerts. I certainly had fun and enjoyed each one of them. I hope to see you with your full band next year Justin and Brandon. I will see you at Iceland Airwaves Svavar. 🙂
Goodbye my Lovely
Fuzzy (Grant Lee Buffalo)
Baby would you marry me
Ev’ry Time we say goodbye (Cole Porter)
Bang Bang (Nancy Sinatra)
Yfir hóla og yfir hæðir
Girl from Vancouver
Here comes the hurting
Halfway up the stairs / True Love will find you in the end (Beck)
The Best (The Rocketboys)