The Dream is still alive

Árstíðir – frannz club, Berlin; February 24th, 2019

Berlin was the last headline gig of the ongoing Árstíðir tour for me as the acoustic gig in Hamburg will just be a bonus and they are the support act for the last two. Well, I did my best to see as many gigs as possible and this was it. The show was lovely and for the second time on this tour I saw the use the projections on the screen. It wasn’t sold out, but the crowd was good and the sound and lights were just right. I was happy to get a good show like this at the end of my tour.

The trip from Moscow was somewhat exhausting and I arrived in Berlin rather sleep deprived. Hostel staff was really nice though and I felt much better after relaxing a little. Met up with my friend C. for a late lunch with good conversations and the most awesome apple pie. Got to the venue in good time, saw K. and A. before the doors opened. Settled at the front, chatted, said hello to I. and waited for the concert to start.

This time they were only a couple of minutes late. As the screen in the background had indicated, they were using the projections again, but it was so much better than in Leiden. There were still good lights and the images were projected on the band which just looked very cool. 😀 When I was in Russia I’d had ‘While this Way’ playing in my head before the shows and now it was ‘ Standstill’, but as soon as the concert started, I was right there and any thoughts of any other band vanished from my head. I’d been a little scared the switch might not work, but it was easy.

I took pictures again, but not so many. I was busy enjoying the music. For once I was in a spot where I could actually see everyone and I loved it. The sound was great and the audience was responsive, so the guys were energized by the good vibes in the room and gave it all back to us. When they don’t have to worry about anything they look as if playing is no work at all, but the easiest thing in the world and at those moments, maybe it is. They get lost in the music, close their eyes, look happy. Their smiles were radiant, it was a good night.

Every instrument was very distinct that night. Together, they created beautiful melodies, yet I could clearly hear each one. Usually I follow the songs with my eyes, i e. look at whoever is dinging or playing the main part. By now I know them all so well that I don’t even have to think about it. I love all the different parts of the songs, how there is a call and response between different instruments at times while at other times they just blend together and harmonize like the guys’ voices do. <3

This time, no song stuck out especially. They were all great. Of course I have my favorites and they always mean more to me than the others, but the favorite of one particular night can still be a different song. The music quietly told stories at times and then they just rocked. It was amazing to see them alternating between softer and more powerful songs, nicely building it up towards the end of the set. I can never resist being drawn in by that. From ‘While this Way’ to ‘Shades’ everything was stunning and again I could not believe the first set was over already.

A short break, just enough to get a drink and they were back. K. wondered why there were only three of them on the stage and the explanation came soon enough. The audience loved it and that made me think about acoustic gigs again – how can they not see how special these are? ‘Entangled’ was next of course. That song always makes me smile and when Gunnar explains what it means or could mean for human relations it makes me smile even more, because not only do I know this from my own experience, but he also is so very sincere about it. 🙂 Of course there are human connections we don’t understand.

Ragnar spoke about “nivalis” being the base metaphor for the album and the difficulty of putting feelings into the right words to create songs. I’d say they always do well with the metaphors. They certainly speak to me. From ‘Like Snow’ onwards the second set gets more powerful until it goes just a bit softer again for ‘Passion’. That evening I marveled again at how much that song has evolved from its first incarnation. I was always a good song, but on the album and especially during this tour it has become do much more. It is much more dynamic musically than it used to be or than I remember it being and because of the band connecting it to their lives on tour it has become do much more meaningful. <3

Only for a brief moment they left the stage before we clapped them back there. They played ‘Góda veslu göra skal’on stage for a change and it was lovely. People asked them for more than two, but after ‘Nú gleymist ég’ when Oroi was playing they didn’t even really try to convince them. One day I will see a gig where they play an extra encore. 😉 Either way, it was a great night.

Afterwards I went for a chat, heard some stories about the great concert and fun night they had in Dresden (not at the usual bar this time) and told Ragnar I’d see them in Hamburg “because there is no fucking way you’re playing an acoustic gig I know about and I won’t be there!” Everyone else had already said goodbye when A. And I left. At a nearby Mexican restaurant we ended the night with cocktails and great nachos. That was fun, let’s do it again soon!

pictures of this concert

Setlist

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

acoustic set:
Sunday Morning
Kill Us

Entangled
Like Snow
Friðþægingin
Himinhvel
Things You Said
Passion

Góda veslu göra skal
Nú gleymist ég

Nivalis winter tour: 15 gigs down, 3 to go. Next stop: Hamburg

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