Árstíðir – Gebouw-T, Bergen op Zoom; November 12th, 2023
Árstíðir’s show in Bergen op Zoom was a wonderful Matinee, that started slowly, but really picked up pace in the second half. It was a seated show at a nice venue and the audience was small but very interested. I enjoyed every moment of it.
I traveled somewhat early from Amsterdam, just to make sure I’d get there on time and was alone for a while outside the venue. Eventually, S. showed up, who told me she grew up in this town and had therefore decided to go to this show. We spent the waiting time chatting until more people showed up. Once the doors opened, I walked in to get a seat and found space to store my backpack under the table. Perfect! I did not have a hotel for the evening, because there was enough time to go home. On the way I had reminded Raggi of the afternoon’s Patreon concert and he sent a link to a live stream of the show, deciding that was the least stressful thing to do. Great idea. 😀
To easy into the concert and “center themselves” as Raggi put it, they started with ‘Himinhvel’ and ‘Ljóð í sand’ again. The sound was good and I loved the lighting, even if it was a tad dark overall. No talking happened at all before the two songs were over, but then they introduced themselves and mentioned how nice it was to play an afternoon show and run on coffee instead of wine. 😉
I was hoping for ‘The Waves’, but it wasn’t back on the set yet, so ‘Bringing back the Fell’ was next. That one is always awesome and makes me move along with the music. The band did the same, but seemed a bit more stationary than the previous days. The audience seemed a bit slow too, but they were appreciative and that is the main thing.
‘Later on’ still stirs all sorts of emotions in me and I hope it will never be any different. I can’t explain how or why I relate so much to this song, but I really feel it. Next I somehow expected ‘Figure’ and then wondered how I could have forgotten about ‘Sanity’ – I love that song. It was great too, even though Raggi’s voice sounded just a little bit strained. This time the strings really stuck out to me. He made jokes, but nobody really laughed, so Gunni had to say that he thinks it’s funny. It was!
For ‘Figure’ mot of the strings are pre-recorded so Jean-Sam was drumming on his violin in rhythm. The more I hear this song, the better it gets. 🙂 ‘Nú gleymist ég’ is always a highlight and ‘Lover’ was fantastic. I noticed that they hadn’t talked much so far, when they had already reached the end of the first set with ‘Þar sem enginn fer’. Dani introduced it briefly and said they were gonna take a break for the thirsty people to get more drinks. I enjoyed the song, it works well as a set closer.
When they returned, Ragnar spoke about Pendúll and how it is their only album with only Icelandic songs. We got to hear ‘Glitsky’ as a trio and then ‘Hvenar kemur sól’ with the full band. In-between Gunnar told us how the band had started with just guitar and then turned into something else over the years. Guillaume and Jean-Samuel got lots of cheers when they returned. Needless to say but songs were beautiful.
‘While this Way’ was amazing and for ‘Mute’ Gunnar spoke about the writing process and how sometimes a song or a melody sits there for years before it gets used, which was the case for ‘Mute’. I really love the song on this tour. Next up was a surprise, because they did not play ‘Passion’. I knew it, hen Daníel talked about how they used to offer beer to those who pronounced the title of the next song correctly, but the offer was void now. It was ‘Friðþægingin’ and it was brilliant.
We returned to Blik for the next three songs and Raggi introduced the common theme of time for the two albums, how our perception of time changes depending on circumstances and the many different ideas of how to capture it. Nostalgia for lost childhood is captured in ‘Home’, which I also like better every night. For ‘Kirin’ Gunni told us there wasn’t anything he wanted to share to introduce the song, so they just played it. Someone exclaimed “wow” when it was over. 🙂
The second set was overall much more powerful and lively than the first and one of the liveliest as ‘A new Tomorrow’. Gunni told us they had made a video for it, which was a fairy tale and would come out soon. “Everybody loves a good fairytale” Dani added. I just love how catchy the song is. After that we did not “awww” loud enough for the last song, so we had to repeat. 😉 I got up to take pictures from the back and got a great view of everyone during ‘Shades’. I really enjoy seeing them all get lost in that song. ❤️
For the encore, they spoke about how hey had written songs on Daníel’s couch in the beginning and reminisced about the awful home breed wine. We got ‘Kill us’ and ‘Things you said’, once again from a trio performance on the first song to full band on the second. It was great to end like that and I am sure everyone left happy.
Talked to all he guys afterwards and praised the concert. It was wonderful overall. There were many hugs and Guillaume reminded me that it was almost ten years ago that we had first met. He quizzed me and I did not remember the exact date, but I had some other memories like hitching a ride with him back to Brussels and telling him I thought he was a good fit for the band. 😀 I also met a few familiar people and talked with them for a bit, before saying goodbye to everyone and hading home for one night in my own bed. It has been a greta tours so far.
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