Changed setlist, special effects and a surprise request

Ragnar Ólafsson – house concert, Jarocin; August 11th, 2021

Raggi’s house show in Jarocin took place at a tiny apartment (or at least the living room was tiny), yet we all fit in and none of it mattered. It was a fun show, with a lot of laughs and the setlist worked better than the previous day, but somehow I felt a bit of a disconnect with the audience at times. I enjoyed it very much though and it was a good warm up for the first show at a venue in almost a year.

After a good night’s sleep I got up well rested, had a good breakfast at the hotel and made my way to the train station around noon. About four hours later I arrived in Jaocin and was glad I could relax a little before the gig. So far, on this tour I feel no need to explore at all. I just want to see concerts and hang out with friends. Got an ice cream and some cider for the gig, edited a few pictures and made my way to the concert around 7. It was a long walk and I didn’t have to wait much before they let me in.

The apartment was small yet cozy and I got the best seat in a house on a chair across from stage. Said hello to Bartek and Raggi, poured myself a drink and waited. More people arrived, the room got crowded and we were all ready for the show to start.

Soon, Bartek got up and made the usual announcements. He must have told something funny, because people were laughing. Raggi grabbed the guitarlele, stepped in front of the crowd and started with ‘Wine’. It made everyone go quiet so the camera of the photographer next to me could be heard really well. He took a lot of picture throughout so I didn’t take that many. It was a lovely start and people listened. Before he continued he tried to remember some Polish and then gave up, jokingly promising Bartek would translate everything after the show.

‘Deva’ was next and I felt it worked better after ‘Wine’ than before. I really enjoyed it. Right after, someone leaned against the light switch and Raggi joked that was planned to replace pyrotechnics that would be too much of a fire hazard. As he talked about writing songs in Mexico some kid was screaming outside and he joked that this, too, was part of the show because the monkeys in the trees in Mexico sounded just like that. Right on cue with the beginning of ‘Palenque’ the monkey sounds continued. 😀 The songs was great – Raggi really enjoys it and it’s growing on me too.

Dorota was back to sing with him and he asked her to join him on stage for ‘Dozen’. She did a great job once again. Raggi talked a little about his bands versus his solo project. A brilliant version of ‘A Prayer’ followed. It is one of the songs I can never get enough of. <3

He moved to the piano and said he was gonna teach us some icelandic, staring with Hallgrímskirkja, followed by umferðaröngþveiti, but immediately admitted that he was joking. Then his mic stand came apart so he did a Freddy Mercury pose for the hell of it. Finally he taught  everyone to sing “lalala” with him and it sounded really nice. I loved having ‘Örlög’ back in the set. He started in the wrong key and had to start over, but then it worked great. 🙂

Asking if it was OK to play a cover he launched into Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’. Some people recognized it on the first note. It was wonderful. Somewhere around there he lost a few people, because they were chatting. Luckily they stopped again soon when he talked about traveling on the river. He got out the ukulele for ‘Southern Nights’ and like the day before he divided us into groups, two this time. It didn’t work as well as previously, with people falling out of it when Raggi stopped singing with them. It was great fun though.

I had requested ‘Photograph’ and he played it for me, but there was way too much background chatter for my liking. The song was lovely, but I guess it didn’t work for some people. Raggi asked Dorota to join him again for ‘Petals’ and again some people were talking while they got ready. It’s didn’t feel right to me, but they seemed to have fun. ‘Petals’ was beautiful as it always is. <3

The last song approached and he asked me if he should play ‘Scar’ or ‘Time’. I voted for ‘Scar’ so he explained how it was a dialogues with himself 30 years apart. Mid song, he could not remember a chord so he had to backtrack a little, but that’s OK after not playing it for so long. It still was great.

We clapped for an encore and he came back, saying “In Iceland this means you wanna hear another song” so someone yelled “In Poland it doesn’t.”He sat down at the piano saying he was going to do another cover song. Someone called out “You’re from Iceland, so Jaja ding Dong!” (as from the Eurovision Firesaga movie). I lost it laughing, especially, because Svavar Knutúr had joked about the song a few days before, saying that every village in Iceland has that one guy asking for “Jaja Ding Dong’. Raggi gave in and actually played it to much laughter and a fun sing along. 😀 He said to protect his reputation we had to promise never to tell, but I didn’t. 😉 Afterwards he asked for more wine…

‘Rocketman’ followed, heart shaped glasses included. It was great and at the end he did a reprise of ‘Jaja Ding Dong’ too. The show ended with ‘Dragonfly’ and everyone on stage going crazy. In the very end, Bartek ran off and shot confetti at the other two. It was perfect!

Afterwards we talked, occasionally interrupted by someone wanting pictures or autographs. For a while though, we had a sofa to ourselves. It was lovely. Soon it was time to say goodbye and hug once more before my long walk home.

pictures of this concert


A Prayer
Perfect Day (Lou Reed cover)
Southern Nights

Jaja Ding Dong (cover)
Rocketman (Elton John cover)

First “we are all vaccinated now” Poland tour – 2 gigs down, 16 to go. Next stop: Poznań

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