Keep me in your glow ’cause I’m havin’ such a good time with you

Kacey Musgraves – Carlswerk Victoria, Cologne; May 5th, 2024

Kacey Musgraves is someone I only know, because some people covered her songs during 100 days of ukulele, I liked them and covered them as well. When I fond out she was playing in Cologne, I spontaneously bought a ticket and I have no regrets. she gave us a wonderful show and hat a great support act too.

On show day, I arrived at the venue around 5 pm and there was already a queue. No massive though, I had a good chance of getting somewhere near the front. Spent the waiting time reading and when we finally got in, ended up in the second row. Not bad. 🙂 Felt a little bit like an imposter, because I barely know her music, yet was very curious about how it would be.

At 7:30, a lot earlier than I expected, support Madi Diaz hit the stage. It was just her and her guitar and the music she played was lovely. She told us how she ha done song she was afraid of singing by herself and asked Kacey for help and in return she was asked to come on tour. The song was ‘Don’t do me good’ and I half expected them to sing together, but it didn’t happen. Great song though. I really enjoyed her set and could have listened to her for longer.

After what seemed like forever (about 40 minutes), the lights went down again and it was time for Kacey. Everyone cheered as her band walked on stage and finally she stepped up to the mic for ‘Cardinal’ – from the first word, a lot of people sang along. I was grateful that some more people in my corner didn’t seem to know the lyrics either. I loved it already. The sound was amazing and the music made me happy.

Next up was ‘Heart of the Woods’. “Oh, a waltz,” I though – it’s in 3/4 time. Made me move with the music. With ‘Deeper well’, everyone sang along again. I couldn’t, but it was nice to be there and hearing it. Kacey greeted us and asked how we were doing. She specifically asked about the people at the back too, assuming that was where “all the weird shit is going down.” It had been long since she was in Germany and replied to someone who said “Fuck yeah, it has!” She explained how she was excited, but was also tired and in a bad mood earlier, but a vodka drink helped and seeing our faces was giving her energy. Did we want to make memories together? Absolutely.

‘Sway’ had me moving with the music again. I loved the guitars on that one. Her band was amazing overall, they played well. ‘Too Good to be true’ was beautiful and ‘Butterflies’ had everyone cheering loudly and brought a nice sing along. It was great how different the songs were. They all sounded wonderful to me, some more familiar and some less. All the fans sang along to every word and I enjoyed being a spectator for once. At one point she asked who had been with her since 2012 and lots of people cheered. 🙂

‘Giver / Taker’ really made people happy and ‘Lonely Weekend’ had everyone sing along again. I think it was here that star shaped confetti fell from the ceiling and stuck to everyone’s clothes. <3 ‘Lonely Millionaire’ had great percussion and piano and ended on a sing along that everyone could participate in – “lalala” is always easy. 😉

After that they decided to get a bit closer and play an acoustic set for us. Kacey made some comments about people being cute and having the moves, asking some for their names. 🙂 It made me especially happy that they played the two songs  had recently covered and thus could sing along to. The first one was ‘Follow your Arrow’ and we all sang along loudly and cheered for all the instructions “Kiss lots of Boys” – “Wooh!”, “Kiss lots of girls” – “Wooh!”. After that, she gave a shoutout to Madi Diaz and introduced us to her friend, Sarah , who played and sang in the band and had a birthday that day. So of course we sang Happy Birthday.

Then, we got to hear a story of how rough the tour start had been and how they all had food poisoning one after the other. in different cities. It sounded more like stomach flu to me, but whatever. Someone in the audience pointed that out too, shouting “I don’t believe it’s food poisoning any more”. Kacey was even joking about renaming the tour into “Deeper Unwell” – Tour. To her question if we should go out after the show, someone replied “It’s Sunday”. Yeah, welcome to Germany! 😀

The next song was introduced as being one big question mark and that there are so many terrible things in the world, yet so much beauty as well. “I don’t know if there is a maker, I am not sure, but if there was one I would ask some questions”. That moment I knew it was ‘The Architect’. Such a great song! <3

The band moved back to their instruments and the show continued with ‘Heaven is’, starting with some amazing pedal steel guitar. I really loved this and very much enjoyed the guitar work. ‘Jade Green’ was a great example of that too and moved straight into ‘Rainbow’ – another wonderful sing-along.

‘Golden Hour’ felt almost a bit jazzy and I was there for it. She told us she liked our energy and played the lovely ‘Anime Eyes’, then rocked the house with ‘Justified’. All night I marveled at how everyone knew the lyrics so well. The interesting adventure of going to shows of people whose music I don’t know well. 😉

Kacey told us she didn’t believe in encores, because she wanted us to be present in the moment, but they’d have a few more songs for us. She continued with ‘I remember everything’; the song she had recorded with Zach Bryan. 🙂 For ‘High Horse’ we had big balloons floating around and at some point during the show we had a giant disco ball on the ceiling too. Fun! ‘Slow Burn’ was one final big sing along. After that she thanked us, thanked Madi Diaz, thanked her band and crew and left us with Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds’. It was a perfect end to the show. It left me with a smile on my face and I was happy I saw it.

Setlist

Cardinal
Heart of the Woods
Deeper Well
Sway
Too Good to Be True
Butterflies
Giver / Taker
Lonely Weekend
Lonely Millionaire
Follow Your Arrow (acoustic)
The Architect (acoustic)
Heaven Is
Jade Green
Rainbow
Golden Hour
Anime Eyes
Justified
I Remember Everything (Zach Bryan cover)
High Horse
Slow Burn
Three Little Birds (Bob Marley & The Wailers cover)

Ég sé þig janúar, ég man þig janúar

Svavar Knútur – Trachtenvogl, Munich; April 29th, 2024

The concert in Munich was the final one on this tour for me and it was a good one that felt very much like a living room show. Svavar was in a great mood and he knew everyone in the room, because he had played over 20 shows t Trachtenvogl already. I understood why. It was a lovely venue and the audience was wonderful tour. I had a great time.

My trip to Munich started somewhat early and I wondered why I had not booked a later train. Money probably. either way, I got there before 1 pm and took a nice walk to the Isar where I sat i the sun for a while, listening to podcasts and having fun watching people, dogs and birds. When I got hungry, I went to Trachtenvogl and had a greta meal in the sunshine. Passed the time reading and eventually decided to check if there were people in line. There weren’t, but Svavar was sitting at a table with some friends and invited me to join them. we had nice conversations until the doors opened and I found a seat where i could store my luggage. Went back outside and chatted some more, before going in and getting a nice piece of cake before the show.

Svavar stepped up to the mic, greeted everyone and mentioned this was his 27th show there, so he had played more there than at any other place in the world. As opposed to other countries there is no real folk scene in Iceland, so he has to go and play elsewhere. He said how he always feels which songs suits the evening and started with the lovely ‘Vetrarsól’. 🙂 For a moment he thought it was Sunday, not Monday and joked about times when he did not play Sunday nights in Germany because of “Tatort”.

The Icelandic songs continued with ‘Morgúnn’, one of his few love songs, even though there are some many more interesting subject matters. Of course he explained how me loves love, but Icelanders are not romantic, including some examples of their practical romantic gestures – “we don’t have gold, but we do have fish.” 😀 I always enjoy hearing ‘Morgúnn’, it has really grown on me over time.

Svavar spoke about finishing his “songs of misery and redemption” project, comparing it to building a house and not being sure of what to do now. He ensured us he’d not quit though. He asked us to buy his music instead of listening to Spotify and how that does not pay. It was time for songs from his latest album, the first of which was ‘Refur’. It’s always beautiful.

We heard that he wrote two songs about refugees, that belong together and are part of one story. First he played ‘Lady Winter’ and I wasn’t the only one singing along. we all did it quietly though. <3 After that, Svavar mentioned that he tells less stories when he is relaxed and happy and how he always feels that way in Munich. We then heard a little about how ‘Hope and Fortune’ was recorded and thus the version on Ahoy is different from the one that was originally released. He played it next and it was lovely, but the sing-along was not as good as in Vienna. 😉

Before ‘Undir Birkitré’ we learned it takes 17 years to grow one. Wow! Then Svavar rememberd a story he had never told us and we learned how the birch and the ash are the man and the woman in Icelandic mythology and why the trees are considered holy. It involved Thor and giants. 😉 The song is always great and we sang along nicely too. 🙂

He told us to reind him of the pizza story later and ended the set with an amazing version of ‘November’. Afterwards, we learned that the last part of the song was written over ten years ago in Australia and didn’t fit anywhere then. He forgot about it until it reappeared when he wrote ‘November’. I always find it fascinating to learn the history of songs.

The second set started with more stories about songwriting, specifically a song about a fox and how the chords sound. Then we were taught the last lines in ‘Janúar’ and he made it a point to show us how the Icelandic “Ég sé þig janúar, ég man þig janúar” is very similar to “Ich sehe dich Januar, Ich erinnere dich, Januar” in German. We did manage the sing along quite nicely. 🙂

We got a good laugh out of Svavar joking about his mother being a beer-keg, because someone looked at him as if they were seriously considering this. That all lead to his love for breakup songs, as well as brokkoli. In his opinion all breakup songs should focus on what you learned from the breakup and illustrated that with ‘Emotional Anorexic’. <3

Next was a really good explanation of how Internet algorithms work and direct you towards the mainstream, making you forget about independent artist. He used special glasses as a metaphor.. We got one more breakup song, ‘A glorious Catastrophe’. After that, he spoke about a favorite aunt and how she died, before playing her song, ‘Impossible’ for us.

He realized he was almost out of time and told us he was gonna play the last song. When we expressed sadness he joked we should know how encores work. Then he went off on a tangent, talking about the different Scandinavian languages and how they sound like, including an example of a Swedish Hells Angel, before getting to the Icelandic words for happiness and birthday. It was really interesting. The set ended with ‘Slow Dance’. <3

We cheered Svavar back to the stage and finally got to hear the pizza story and the secret why opera singers get fat. 😉 A short poll later, he played ABBA’s ‘When all is said and done’ for us. That is a cover I really love. Because he had so much fun with it the previous day, Svavar played ‘Song of good advice’ for us, including an incredible whistle solo and  great sing along. Because e were so demanding, we got one more song in the end, ABBA’s ‘Like an Angel Passing Through My Room’, which he declared his favorite song in the universe.

It had been a great show. I thanked Svavar, then said goodbye and slowly made my way to the train station to go home.

Setlist

Vetrarsól
Morgúnn
Refur
Lady Winter
Hope and Fortune
Undir Birkitré
Isn’t it funny?
November

Janúar
Emotional Anorexic
A glorious Catastrophe
Impossible
Slow Dance

When all is said and done
Song of good advice
Like an Angel Passing Through My Room