Árstíðir – Paradiso Noord, Amsterdam; November 11th, 2023
Day two of the tour brought a completely different show from the previous day. The venue was much smaller, with standing room only, which made the show more intimate and the setlist changed as well. It was a great one, I loved it all.
It was an easy train ride from Nijmegen to Amsterdam. After a good lunch I checked in and spent most of the afternoon at my hotel, resting for the evening ahead. It was raining when I got to the venue, but I could wait inside. A few people joined me in the queue, but it turned out there were two concerts that evening and they were all going to the other one. Had to wait for a bit a the doors, got a drink, chatted and got a good spot inside. The venue didn’t have seats as opposed to last time they played there and the stage was rather low, so naturally I picked a spot right in front. 😉
Like the previous day, they started the show with ‘HIminhvel’ so they have clearly abandoned the idea of playing all the Blik songs in a row. No complaints here, the song has always been a great opened and was as beautiful as ever. 🙂 ‘Ljóð í sand’ brought all the old fans in and ended in great cheers, before they even said hello. Ragnar told us that the old songs ground them musically and get them ready for the show, before playing four songs from the new album – only four?
Daníel took over and talked about writing sessions and how the song ‘Bringing back the Feel’ brought happy vibes. It sure does. I was moving along with the music the entires time. The guys have changed their stage setup for this tour. It used to be Raggi on the left, Gunni at the center and Dani on the right with Guillaume and Jean-Sam in the back. Now it’s Gunni on the left, Dani at the center and Raggi on the right. It took me two nights to get used to, but I must say it works great. Daníel does not get lost in the shadows any more and somehow this allows me to see the whole band at the same time. I love it.
Again, Ragnar started introducing the song, the passed the mic to Gunni so to speak. I laughed, because he had done it before ‘Bringing back the Fell’ as well. Gunnar told us that ‘Later On’ was about wanting answers and not getting them and realizing the world does not always play by your rules. It was perfect, i really felt it. ❤️ ‘Sanity’ got no introduction whatsoever, they just jumped right into it. Afterwards, Ragnar joked that they sometimes feel they might have forgotten a prefix in the title. 😀
Gunnar said that now they had played ‘Figure’ before the pressure was off. They nailed it and again, it made me want to dance. I wondered what they would do instead of ‘THe Wave’ and they picked ‘Nú gleymist ég’ – if there has to be a replacement, that is the best possible one. I love the song so much. ❤️ I wanted to film it, but realized I was just too close to get the full band in.
‘Lover’ and ‘Þar sem enginn fer’ brought the first set to a close, but not without asking if anyone in the audience spoke Icelandic and then claiming that the one woman who did, could translate during the break. They also joked about Icelandic 15 minutes (the break time). When they came back, it was discussed that it was Faroese time more than Icelandic (read: even later).
When the guys introduced ‘Glitsky’ someone quipped “Whiskey?”, but they didn’t hear or didn’t react. It was played as a trio and was lovely. For ‘Hvenar kemur sól’ Jean-Sam and Guillaume joined in again. The song put a smile on my face, it sounds so hopeful somehow. ‘While this Way’ then sent shivers down my spine. Afterwards, Ragnar asked us if the story behind a song matters to us and we agreed, so Gunnar spoke about some melodies laying around for a while before lyrics get found and how ‘Mute’ was like that. It was one of my highlights – the performance was spot-on!
Next, the guys were whispering, so it was a change in the setlist from the previous day. Daníel introduced it as a song they had written for themselves, because they “got tired of writing about, girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, future girlfriends…” Gunnar had trouble with the backing tracks and told the others to say something funny, so Ragnar joked about drummers and Spinal tap, making us laugh. In the end, they had to do an acoustic version and it was brilliant. “The drummer is fired” was the conclusion.
We returned to Blik and Ragnar spoke about the perception of time and how they had reflected on that together with the fans and the rune symbols we had created. He looked at me when he said that some of the runes the fans created ended up on the T-Shirts. Mine sure did. ‘Home’ was beautiful and ‘Kirin’ had me moving again. Introducing ‘A new tomorrow’ they talked about how Gunnar had said it was his favorite and he elaborated that there is just something about Daníel’s melodies that get stuck in your head – it sure is catchy!
The new songs may be faster and poppier than usual, but – as they noted – they are still in minor. 😀 “We are sown to our last song,” Gunnar said and everyone “awww”-ed. Closing with ‘Shades’ a song they love as much as the audience is always a safe bet. There was so much energy flowing, it was awesome.
We cheered and clapped loudly, demanding more and we got it. Someone yelled for ‘Ya Ya Ding Dong’, but Ragnar told us the contract that Icelanders have to play this, was not valid tonight. 😀 Instead we got ‘Kill us’ in the wonderful acoustic trio version. Raggi joked they could teach us Icelandic dirty words after the show and that there were a lot. Daníel quipped “Not as many as in French!”. 😀 The grand finale was ‘Things you said’ to give the string players the last word and let them showcase their talents. It was awesome
there was so much I wanted to say to them after the show and forgot half of it. I did tell everyone I loved it, spoke with Gunni about screwing up and he knew that I loved it. Of course I did, it makes a show special. ❤️ I told Dani how much I liked him being center stage. It changes the whole dynamic and it’s a good thing. He promised to rock out even more at future gigs. I love it when they do. It was such a great night and I ended up staying so long that the doors were already closed and I had to go out through the backstage. I just ca’t let go. 😉
Ljóð í sand
Bringing back the Feel
Nú gleymist ég
Þar sem enginn fer
Hvenar kemur sól
While this Way
A new Tomorrow
Things you said