Chasing away the ghosts of the past

Árstíðir – Rockhouse, Salzburg; February 18th, 2019

I have great, if somewhat hazy memories of the last time Árstíðir played in Salzburg. Not so much of the concert as such, that was weird in a sense of the venue being a bit strange. The people there were really unfriendly to the audience and the band alike. It was a pretty full house though and I shot one of my best ever band picture there. I don’t remember much else about it other than being really sad for some reason and not wanting to go out. I was convinced otherwise though and it was an amazing night with great conversations, none of which I can recall. 😉

Now the guys were back, at a different place this time. It was just a short trip from Munich so I actually got the chance to see a little bit of the city. Salzburg greeted me with beautiful weather too and I had an enjoyable walk. After some food I arrived at the venue – too early as usual. Waited a while, saw most of the guys and said hello, then found out the bar was already open and got myself a drink. Everyone there was really friendly. I liked it already.

Slowly more people arrived and I chatted with someone next to me. Nobody knew when the concert was going to start. Jean-Samuel was still sitting at the bar and Ragnar was outside talking, but around 8:30 they made their way backstage and soon the band walked out. At that moment people came closer and suddenly the room felt crowded. They kept a respectful distance from the stage though. Even I did, because I was trying to film the whole thing.

When Árstíðir started playing, I noticed it was a lot louder than usual and momentarily considered wearing my earplugs. This was a bar audience, so the higher volume seemed fitting and the sound was clear. Once again I had brought my camera and this time I felt the difference. Instead of being one with the music like I had been the previous night, I became a spectator, observing everything. It worked though, I enjoyed it very much.

The audience was a mixed bunch from metal heads to other fans of the band to people who were just there because the came every Monday night, for the regular Blues sessions that usually happen then. Either way, they liked it and mostly listened, even if there was more chatter than usual. Somehow the first half of the show went by really quickly. Might have been that the guys talked less or maybe my sense of time was just off. It is all a bit of a blur right now and I cannot remember anything specific other than wondering how we got from ‘While this Way’ to ‘Shades’ so quickly.

During the break people dispersed quickly, got more drinks and went outside. They were back when the guys reappeared, but they kept talking, not realizing the band was about to start until Daníel asked them to be quiet. He did it very nicely and after a few moments it got quiet enough for them to play. It sounded beautifully and once people realized what they were doing, they actually listened too and appreciated it. 🙂 This was not the easiest audience one could have, but I had the feeling the guys won them over quickly.

Filming worked nicely except for that couple who decided to move over to the far left side and instead of standing still kept moving into the frame of my camera, no matter what I did. Shout out of thanks to the really nice metal guy who did the same at the start of the show, but was so considerate and moved for me. 🙂 Before ‘Entangled’ Ragnar asked if we knew what “Nivalis” meant and when someone answered “yes” he replied “then I have nothing to say” – touché. He explained it anyway though. 😉 When Gunnar presented the ‘Friðþægingin’ challange, someone behind me said “Try to say” followed by something unpronounceable in Austrian. It wasn’t loud enough though and the band didn’t hear it. Gunnar added it was just about as difficult as ‘umferðaröngþveiti’ and that people were getting close to pronouncing it right. The performance of the song was brilliant!

Too quickly we moved past the wonderful ‘Himinhvel’ and the rocking ‘Things you said’ to ‘Passion’. Really, where did time go that night? It seemed to have moved much faster than it usually does. Loved all of the songs, but can’t remember many of the stories told. What I do remember is Ragnar mentioning that he learned drinking in Salzburg when he was there to learn German as a teenager. 😀 Of course ‘Passion’ was not he last song and they came back for us. With this audience I figured they would not do ‘Góða veislu gjöra skal’ and I was right, but we did get ‘Nú gleymist ég’. I don’t think I will ever get tired of that song. 🙂

It was a good show and I told the band afterwards. Had a few words with everyone, hugged, reminisced about the last time we were in Salzburg with Gunnar, said goodbye, then stayed a bit still and joked about drunken nights on tour with Jean-Samuel and Guillaume. 🙂 Happily I went home for another night of too little sleep and happy memories to add to my collection.

pictures of this concert


While this Way
Please Help me
Vetur að vori
Ljóð í sand
In the Wake of You
Þar sem enginn fer

acoustic set:
Sunday Morning
Kill Us

Like Snow
Things You Said

Nú gleymist ég

Nivalis winter tour: 11 gigs down, 7 to go. Next stop: Krakow

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