Árstíðir – Rotunde, Bochum; May 4th, 2022
My final show on Árstíðir’s moments in time tour was the best one I saw. Everything about it was magical and made me even more sad that I had to leave. Then again, I could not have asked for more – thy pulled out all stops and made it perfect!
I had left Amsterdam in the morning and gone home to Dortmund so I’d have enough time to repack for part two of my tour. In the end I had roughly three hours at home before I left again and went to Bochum. It was great having them play so close to home.
The venue was new to me, but I had been to the one next door so I knew where to go. Once again, I was the first person there and not that many people gathered before they opened. It was your usual small concert hall, but I liked that the bar was outside and they had a garden as well. As I was buying a drink, Ragnar joined me for a while and we chatted about the tour so far. I felt a little sad that this was going to be my last gig on the tour. Guillaume was leaving as well, which seemed fitting somehow. 🙂 Once back inside the venue, I spent the waiting time talking to G., who was just as excited as I was.
Soon, Platon Karataev started and played their hearts out. We thanked them with great cheers and I thoroughly enjoyed their set, from the first song to the last. Everything sounded amazing and their harmonies were beautiful. I had already decided I wanted their CDs, but if I didn’t, this would have been the day. loved their stage presence and their powerful songs. It was the perfect finale (for me – they were staying until the end of the tour).
Valaki Jár A Fák Hegyén
Tágul / Ex Nihilo
A little break, some more chatting and it was time for Árstíðir. Daníel’s voice wasn’t fully back yet, but he had been talking to a few people earlier and sounded much better. I liked either setlist just fine and was looking forward to whatever they would sing and play for us tonight, determined to make the most of it.
The band stepped on stage, plugged in their instruments and started with ‘Ljóð i sand’. It sounded absolutely amazing. Everything did that night – a pleasant surprise, showing Platon Karataev’s soundguy really knows his stuff. Without much ado, a perfect version of ‘While this Way’ followed. I was already smiling broadly, enjoying everything about the concert. I’d had a good feeling about this show, but the guys exceeded all my expectations. Everything felt absolutely right about it. 😀
Ragnar greeted us, briefly introduced the band and told us it was pleasure finally playing in Bochum and how much they loved the weather today, claiming they had not seen the sun for 6 months. And of course it was special to play again after so long. “Let’s see where this evening takes us,” he concluded. I watched Gunnar and Daníel converse silently to determine that Gunnar was going to sing ‘Hvenær kemur sól’. Once again, he did so brilliantly and Daníel added some harmonies. It was wonderful.
They continued with ‘Shine’, a new addition to the setlist since the previous day and a song I had missed hearing. I especially loved the eerie sounds Guillaume created on the cello – it left me with goosebumps.❤️ Ragnar talked about their songwriting bubble during the pandemic. They wrote their “strange emotions” and worries into songs and came up with 30 of them, enough for two albums. The beautiful ‘Týndur’ followed. I sighed happily – what a great song. After that, ‘Endatafl’ gave me goosebumps again. It’s another song I will never get tired of. ❤️ For the “ahhhhaaa” part in the end, Daníel was back to singing with the others.
It was time to “get back to basics” as Gunnar put it and they gathered around the double microphone. He pointd out that, like in 2008 they were still sitting on couches, playing guitars and drinking wine, but said wine had gotten much better since. Daníel explained his home-brew had been called “El Danielo” with great bottles and labels, but bad taste. 😁 They didn’t even ask if we wanted to hear the song in Icelandic or English and just played ‘Glitsky’ right away. Before ‘Kill us’ Ragnar mentioned that he liked this part of the set because he got to play the baritone guitar and also asked for silence. The song sounded amazing – best version since Budapest. Gunnar asked Jean-Samuel and Guillaume back to the stage with grand gestures and they joined them for ‘Ísland farsældafrón’. That was a nice surprise.
Gunnar introduced ‘Ages’ as a song about having rough times in school. I had never heard him speak about it before. It sounded absolutely beautiful and ‘Mute’ was just as good. Daníel and Gunnar were communicating about the next song and Ragnar quipped that Gunnar was complimenting Daníel on his great hair that day. “Somebody had to say something!” Gunnar added to much laughter and Ragnar told us it was surprising to have a good hair day with the hotel they had (in Amsterdam). Then Daníel had to tell us about “the most interesting hotel experience of my life” and that there was a sign in the lobby saying “no laughing gas, no smoking and no prostitutes” and wondered how the “no laughing gas” had come about. Gunnar added that they must have had some incident with laughing gas more than twice to make that happen.
Then we got back to songs and heard about driving in Iceland’s fjords taking a long time. ‘Þar sem enginn fer’ was sung by Gunnar again and like before, he did a great job. It is always a brilliant song. Ragnar announced a preview of the new album and Daníel sang ‘Bringing back the Feel’, almost back to his usual form. ❤️ He explained that he had lost his voice, but it was coming back.
Ragnar explained how ‘Lover’ was about the impossible love that never happens and the perfect lover you never meet. It was a powerful version of the song too. I loved it. ‘Shades’ of course ended the set, but before that, Gunnar thanked everyone and spoke about how nice it has been to be back on the road. I feel you, it was weird and strange and beautiful for me too. Of course the string players improvised some music to underline his words. ‘Shades’ is, was and always will be brilliant. What a song!
We clapped, yelled and screamed for more and had called them back to the stage soon. Someone called out for ‘Things you said’ and Ragnar was just explaining how that would not be possible, when Daníel said “we can try”, but it could happen that his voice broke. It didn’t, the song was perfect! They stepped off the stage into the crowd and gave us ‘Góða veislu gjöra skal’ – Gunnar explained what it means and “let’s party” seemed like a fitting end for this show. 😀
The merch table was busy for a while, I finally bought Platon Karataev’s CDs and had them sign them. Also got the CD Jean-Samuel made with Jean-Luc Therrien and had him and Guillaume sign the Trio Spilliaert Cd I had brought. So far, so good. There were a lot of shenanigans going on between the guys, some involving women’s underpants that were held up. No idea how they got there. Everyone was in a good mood and joking around, I loved it.
Ljóð i sand
While this way
Hvenær kemur sól
Þar sem enginn fer
Bringing back the Feel
Things you said
Góða veislu gjöra skal
After most people had already gone home, I was still hanging out, not wanting the night and the tour to end. I chatted with Ragnar and his friends for a while, got a setlist with a personalized drawing on it and could not stop talking about how much I loved the tour and this final show. We agreed that it had been the best one so far. It had been a brilliant tour overall and I loved every single show.
At the beginning, after the show in Reykjavik, I had told Gunnar how grateful I was for being able to see them live again and that it felt weird now how often I had complained about setlist. I would have honestly been happy if they had played the same song over and over again each night. This still held true, but they had given me so much more. After all these years and the great pause, I still feel very much at home with the band. interestingly enough, I had never doubted that I would. I knew from the start they’d still be able to draw me in and thy delivered night after night. My love for these guys is still strong and I felt deeply grateful for the concerts. In this mood, I mad my final rounds, starting at the merch table and ending in the hallway that lead backstage, asking everyone if they wanted a final hug before I left. Almost everyone did, even some of the Platon Karataev guys and from Daniel, I got the usual handshake. All is well, I love you all ver ymuch and I cannot wait for the next tour. ❤️
Moments in Time tour: Seven gigs down, none to go – next stop: Home