Ragnar Ólafsson & Isabelle Saadat – Krefeld, October 6th, 2019
After my living room concert, Isabelle’s mom had offered to have the next one at their place the following Sunday and here I was at a living-room in Krefeld, seeing Raggi and Isa once again. Never mind that I had originally planned seeing Milow that night and didn’t manage to sell the ticket or that I had traveled from Tampere in the morning and only slept about four hours in total. I would not have wanted to miss this one and it was a lot of fun!
Travel was not fun at all that day. Not everything went wrong, but enough to keep me panicked. In the morning my train was delayed due to hitting a moose and I though I was not going to make my flight. Thus, I was wide awake on the train, despite only having slept two hours. On the plane I finally slept. Managed to catch an earlier train than I’d planned for and had a stopover in Cologne to sell my Milow ticket for Thursday. Onwards to Dortmund, home and finally a two hour nap. Left for Krefeld at 4 in the afternoon, extra early, because the bus to my destination only goes once per hour. The train had just left Dortmund when we stopped. All the tracks were closed, because there were people on he tracks somewhere. We stood there for over 30 minutes and I thought I was never going to get to Krefeld on time. Miraculously. everything went well from then on and I arrived at 7 pm, 30 minutes before the gig was supposed to start.
Too tired for alcohol I opted for water, said hello to the few people I knew and chatted for a little bit. The day could only get better from here. 🙂 It was a nice house, a living room full of excited people and there was great food to be had as well. Perfect. Even the infamous “Jägermeister hot ginger” was ready to make another appearance and I already knew it was going to be a good night.
We sat down and waited, I chatted with S., who sat next to me, then opted for leaving the comfy chair and sitting on the floor right at the front instead. I had a better view from there. I wondered if they’d play anything new that night since they’d had three days off in-between and, judging by Instagram, spent much of those rehearsing. I was also much looking forward to hearing Isa’s songs again. Her band was present as well, but they were only a part of the audience that night.
After everyone had gotten drinks and found a seat, P. got up on stage and announced Isa and Raggi. Like they had at my concert, they started with ‘Karma’ again and it immediately got me into the mood. The song already felt familiar to me. In fact it was very fitting, considering I had originally planned to be in Frankfurt that day, but the stars had aligned so I could see more than one show. Hearing Isa’s songs for the second time I could appreciate them even more and detect a few subtle changes too. This time she decided to speak German, because there were guests who might not get everything if she spoke English. She told us how they’d met and then Raggi added to it that she played ‘The South’ that night and they would continue with that one. It is a great song and like with ‘Karma’ I even remembered some of the lyrics already.
Raggi joked how a much drunker version of himself had tried singing along back then with the confidence only drunk people have. Then he switched to German and kept it up for part of the night, only occasionally asking us for a few words. They changed places and continued with ‘Dragonfly’ which had already evolved a little more since the last time I’d heard it. ‘Dozen’ was next and I don’t think there is anything I have not said about that song yet. It is still one of the most beautiful ones on the album. *sigh*
They were joking about Raggi’s wine songs, announcing there would be one about white wine next and then maybe about Glühwein (mulled wine) for Christmas. This time it was just ‘Wine’ and a lovely version too. Raggi taught us some Icelandic, claiming we only needed two words to get by: “takk” (especially when said three times in a row) and “skál” (cheers). Back to Isa for ‘Running down’ the short intermezzo song on her upcoming band EP. ‘Out of Space’ was next and seemed even more powerful than I remembered it. One of Isa’s band members played the tambourine for it and they all participated by shouting out “hey!” at certain points. It rocked and made me want to get up and dance. Afterwards Isa explained that the piano line is original played on guitar.
Next was the “lonely guy at the piano section” starting with a beautiful version of ‘Systir’ that Isa had requested. I had missed that song. <3 Raggi spoke about his breakup album and played ‘Red Wine’. Then they switched places again for ‘Flying Mantis’, so Isa told us how she got inspired to write that song. Judging by the sound of it, documentaries about mantis’ must be fascinating indeed. 🙂 Then it was time for Jägermeister and Raggi spoke about spirits to inspire so we had the same spicy ginger Jägermeister we had at my place. Many of us had a drink while we heard the story of how the song ‘Bravery’ came about. The song was awesome! 😀
Raggi invited us to sing in Icelandic for ‘Örlög’ and translated it to “Destiny”, then struggled with the German word “Schicksal”, which lead to singing a short part of ‘Always look on the bright side of life’. Despite being Icelandic, singing “la la la” worked really well. Might have been even better than last time. I really loved that song. It’s great to hear something in Icelandic from time to time. ‘Urges’ was next introduced as “I wanna sing another breakup song” and he explained how you often don’t find the right words until it is too late. ‘Petals’ followed and was absolutely gorgeous, with a slightly new arrangement since the last concert. They also told us they were going to try and write songs in each other’s style. Sounds like an interesting experiment to me.
The last song in the set was ‘Little Lights’. While Isa tuned her guitar, Raggi thanked the hosts and audience for the concert. Then Isa explained how the song came about. The song ended with a beautiful sing-along. We would not let them go without an encore. Isa asked her band member Irene on stage to sing with her and they repeated ‘Karma’ with Irene on backing vocals and the larger piano instead of the small one. It was great! Isa did not have any more songs to play so she left the stage to Raggi. After my suggestion he played ‘Relations’, then ‘Muddy Waters’ to balance the sad song with a happy one and finally ‘Southern Nights’ so the evening ended with one last sing along. It was perfect!
Afterwards we had some amazing food, all made by Isa’s mom and some time to chat. S., who had sat next to me in the beginning, told us she had made Cds once pon a time and went home to get some. So I got a CD gift before I left. Felix, one of Isa’s band members, drove me to the train station, so I managed to catch the last train towards Dortmund, still smiling when i arrived.
Karma (Isabelle Saadat song)
The South (Isabelle Saadat song)
Running Down (Isabelle Saadat song)
Out of Space (Isabelle Saadat song)
Flying Mantis (Isabelle Saadat song)
Little Lights (Isabelle Saadat song)
Karma (Isabelle Saadat song)