Árstíðir – Christianskirche, Hamburg; November 16th, 2023
The show at Christinaskirche in Hamburg was one of my favorites on the Blik tour so far. It had everything a good show needs: Great sound, nice lights, an attentive audience and most of all, a relaxed band. There was a special magic about that church, making them somehow even better than they usually are, singing and playing their hearts out. ❤️
Even though I was still a tiny bit worried about getting to my bus the next morning, I fell into a deep sleep after the Cologne show and woke up to learn that some of the subways were not going. WHAT??? My heart rate was really high immediately, but calmed down when I checked again and the one subway I needed was still there. Phew. After a quick shower I got my breakfast to go from the hostel (great service!) and headed to the bus stop I needed to get to Leverkusen, where the bus to Hamburg was leaving. In a moment of panic I ended up taking a taxi there. but it was only in my head – the bus got there on time. No regrets, the taxi made m feel safer.
The bus to Hamburg left on time and despite a huge delay in the beginning, the rest of the trip was uneventful and I got there only 30 minutes late. Made my way to Barmbek to meet I., had a quick chai latte and went to her place, where she prepared food. It was my first warm meal in days. We waited for P. to arrive. she had braved the trains and was considerably late, but finally got there. We left right after she dropped off her stuff, with bus, subway and another bus towards the venue. The last bus got stuck in traffic and we texted our friend J. and G. to see if hey had already arrived. Both were on the way as well and traffic was heavy. Finally I asked Ragnar if he could save us some seats and he did. ❤️
When we got to the church after the slowest bus ride in history, there were not that many people yet – apparently everyone had the same problem. 😀 J. and friends arrived and when the doors opened we kept some spots for G. and family. The church was really beautiful. Small and pretty. I liked the lights too – simple, yet nice. Slowly, the place filled and we were all ready for the show. Finally al the stress left me and I could truly relax, got a drink and chatted with J., G. and P. before the show. We had all made it!
At 8 pm the current pastor stepped on stage to great us all and introduce the band, saying how happy he was to have a concert there. He joked about the pronunciation of their name and said that maybe we could all call it out when the band walked on stage. No chance, I still can’t do it correctly. 😉
They stepped out to great cheers and I was fully caught up in the music from the very first moment. I was there, life was beautiful and for the next two hours my favorite band would make me forget all my troubles. ‘Himinhvel’ sounded brilliant and there was a nice reverb in the room. I loved it immediately. ‘Ljóð í sand’ really spoke to me. It sounded so beautiful and clear, carrying me. It was perfect already.
Ragnar introduced the band in German, then added that we the only German he knew. He spoke about how this, a nice sounding church, was the most beautiful place to sing, except for the shower, but they could not make us all fit in the shower. Daníel quipped that it was actually an idea to play in showers, making us laugh. 😀
‘Bringing back theFeel’ was perfect and this was already my favorite gig of the tour. I smiled through the whole song and could not stop moving along with the music. I love everything about this song from the strings to the lyrics to the awesome mute strum somewhere in there. The piano melody to ‘Later on’ had me playing air piano and I really felt the song. I love watching how Gunnar get really into it. ❤️
‘Sanity’ was amazing and I especially loved the last note ringing out. Daníel told us that they had the beat for ‘Figure’ for a few beats before they used it in a song, but instead of talking about it, maybe they should make us feel it and feel it I did. 🙂 Gunnar spoke about how much fun it was to play with the sound and let it travel. Raggi, Guillaume and Jean-Sam were already playing the melody softly, while he introduced ‘Nú gleymist ég’. It sounded wonderful and especially the change from the soft voice to more power worked so well.
They kept the setlist from Cologne and played ‘Þar sem enginn fer’ next, taking us on a trip through the Westfjords of Iceland. The set ended with ‘Lover’ and a powerful version of ‘Friðþægingin’. It is such a good song! Listening to the string players I fully understood why Ragnar said the song make shim want to learn violin.
After a nice break with more chatting, the band came back and introduced us to ‘Pendúll’, the sister album to Blik, starting with ‘Glityky’. Like everything else it sounded exceptional. Gunnar talked about how ‘Hvenar kemur sól’ had become something of a sprig anthem in Iceland because all the DJs played it and mused about how it was the right question to ask. Not only is it a valid question at times, it is a beautiful song. 🙂
‘While this Way’ always gets to me, I just love it so much. Next, Gunnar introduced ‘MUte’, talking about not being able to communicated in Japan and how hard that was after two week, feeling like being put an mute. all the while Ragnar, Jean-Samuel and Guillaume where already playing the melody to the song very softly. It was a great rendition.
Afterwards, the string players left the stage and the others were discussing amongst themselves whether should stay on stage or walk out into the room for the a cappella songs. They settled on the room in the end. Ragnar told us the lyrics to ‘Bæn einstæðingsins’ were so beautiful, they were reason enough o learn Icelandic. “Unless you wanna stay happy,” Daníel quipped. 😀 Once thy stood in the middle of the room and sang, it was magical. ❤️ Guillaume an dJean-Samuel joined them for ‘Ísland farsældafrón’, which was just as wonderful. *sigh*
Back on stage, Ragnar told us a bit about the two albums and the time concept, while the string players got a soft melody going and he told us that ‘Home was capturing nostalgia. The song was amazing. Then, both Dani and Raggi could not remember which song was next. Daniel used the opportunity to complain about people stealing their setlist and Ragnar added they reappear with the request for autographs. Gunnar pointed out that that forces you to make changes, when you can’t remember. 😀 Wither way, next song was ‘Kirin’ and I really loved it.
‘A new Tomorrow’ is always brilliant and still makes me want to dance. Gunnar said they had released it on New Years day, as that is the day when people make promises about changes and a new tomorrow. Thus, we had already reached the last song of the night, to which we appropriately awwed and were told we could make more songs happed if we clapped. 😉 ‘Shades’ brought the house down. Great song, great version!
we cheered until they came back and they decided to play ‘Kill us’ in the middle of the church too, without mics and completely unplugged. Wow, just wow! For the last time they brought the string players back on stage, thanked us for a fantastic show and finally gave us an awesome version of ‘Things you said’. Perfect show was perfect!
I really wanted to thank them all, but I barely had time to hug Ragnar and briefly say hello to Guillaume and Jean-Samuel before we needed to go to get a good public transport connection. OK then, see you all soon. It had been a truly wonderful night.
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