Árstíðir – Prachtwerk, Berlin; November 17th, 2023
A day after the most magical show of the tour in Hamburg, The Árstíðir concert in Berlin was the most fun one, where the band had a blast trying new stuff and the audience was the most enthusiastic yet. I could not stop grinning the entire night.
Had a relaxed breakfast with P. in Hamburg an some time to look at my pictures from the tour so far, before I needed to catch a train to Berlin. Checked in to my hostel and had the second warm meal in two days. Yay! Some more relaxing and blogging, then onwards to the venue, where I arrived just in time for soundcheck. The door was open, but I wasn’t allowed to wait inside. i could hear perfectly well though and was happy to hear ‘Let’s Pretend’ as well as ‘Seven Years’. 🙂
G. arrived and had brought Jean-Samuel’s glasses. When I was halfway to Hamburg, he told me he had forgotten them in Cologne and since I could not go back to get them, I told him to ask G. She took a detour and picked them up for him, so we saw a reunion in Berlin. 😀
More people arrived and eventually they let us in. K. was there too and we stood next to each other at the front, while G. chose to sit on the side. This time I was standing to Daníel’s right for a change. The setlist was in plain view so I could not help but look, even though I rather wanted to be surprised. Oh well…
By the time the show started, the small venue had filled up considerably and people were still chatting loudly when the band stepped on stage. However, everyone fell silent quickly when they picked up their instruments and greeted them with applause. i had feared the sound might not be as good at such a small venue, but ‘Himinhvel’ sounded great. Once again, ‘Ljóð í sand’ brought everyone in and cheers grew considerably louder. Win!
Ragnar thanked us in four languages (English, German, Icelandic and Swedish). That made me look where he was looking and I spotted Linda in the crowd. So nice to see her! 😀 ‘Bringing back the Feel’ had me move along with the music and snap my fingers. It really is a feel good song. Daniel asked us if we were in a Friday mood and the cheers grew even louder than before. He asked Gunnar to tell us about the next song and Gunni just mentioned that it was not a Friday song and called ‘Later on’. I always love it and really like how the mood changes throughout the concert.
By now everyone in the audience was into it and really loud. The great energy coming from them was reflected back by the band. They all looked happy. ‘Sanity’ was fun, especially with the awesome strings. For ‘Figure’Gunnar said it was about figuring things out and could be applied to anything we wanted and Raggi asked if it was a guru thing. Again, I was moving with the music. I just love their current sound and all the string arrangements are so good.
‘Nú gleymist ég’ was played with no announcement what soever – the next song needs no introduction! 😀 It was wonderful and so was ‘Þar sem enginn fer’. Next up was ‘Lover’ and the first set ended with ‘Friðþægingin’, for which Ragnar told us it was the only song that made him want to learn violin. So Jean-sam held out his violin to him, but he declined. Probably better that way. 😉 It was fun!
Of course they came back with stories about Pendúll and time, getting back to basics with ‘Glitsky’ after which Gunnar thanked us for keeping so quiet, even though it was not a song for a Friday night. They invited the string players back for ‘Hvenar kemur sól’. It’s always nice how they get their extra moment in the spotlight when they come back. Dani joked that they needed some culture, thus they got French string players. 😀
It made me so happy to have such an appreciative audience and great sound at the same time. It was such a different mood compared to the church gig the previous night, yet just as great. With ‘While this Way’ and ‘Mute’ we got back to the Blik songs and I knew it was now we were going to hear something new.
First were ‘Home’ and ‘Kirin’ though. For the latter Daníel was teasing Gunnar saying he was waiting for him to tell people what the name Kirin is. We learned that Kirin was a beer he was drinking on the way to Okinawa, but of course it’s a metaphor and really about a person. “So you named a special person after a beer?” Ragnar asked and Gunnar explained he thought it sounded cool. Either way, great song!
Ragnar told us that now in the first time of the history of the band they would all three play keyboards and they were not going to play that song, but had to play it for their friend Linda, because it was her birthday. She came forward and we all cheered for her. They kept joking while they set up and then played a very fun version of the song, with Raggi being very expressive and dancing around underlining the words. I loved it! Next, they gave us another live premiere with ‘Seven Years’. Daníel told us that it was written in 2018 and also the first time there was a guitar solo in an Árstíðir song. They screwed up the start with Raggi and Gunni singing at the same time, but once they started over it was awesome! Loved the solo too.
When they announced the last song, people yelled “noooo!” – nice. They loved getting ‘Shades’ though and who wouldn’t. even though I do recall a time when I thought they could use another closing song. What was I thinking? It’s perfect!
Not for the first time that night I was amazed at how loudly relatively few people can cheer so we had them back on stage quickly – Gunnar asked if we wanted more and someone shouted “more Shades”. 😀 They played ‘Kill us’ and then ‘Things you said’, a great combination of old and newer, understated and full band arrangement. It was such a fun sho overall, I loved everything about it.
Afterwards I said hello to Linda, wished her a happy birthday and we ended up chatting for some time. Hugged Gunni and Raggi in-between and talked with Guillaume too, who said he was amazed at how I always find a way to the shows. He remembered the one in Robin Hood’s Bay, England and I had to point out that that was relatively easy to get to, because there was a bus. It was lovely, talking to everyone for some time. Then they packed and left for Linda’s birthday party, while I made my way back to my hostel, still smiling.
Ljóð í sand
Bringing back the Feel
Nú gleymist ég
Þar sem enginn fer
Hvenar kemur sól
While this Way
Things you said