The boundary between sleeping and waking

Árstíðir – Šv. Kotrynos bažnyčia, Vilnius; November 10th, 2012

I have just returned home from what definitely was my last Árstíðir concert this year. As much as I’d love to see them in Reykjavik for Christmas, those flights are a bit above my budget. There is a German saying about stopping when things are at their best so I’ll try to go by that for a change and look forward to next year. 🙂 There will be a tour in the spring and somehow I will manage to see a few concerts there. For now it’s over though, but instead of being sad about that I ought to be happy with what I had and I have more than enough reason to be…

Arrived in Vilnius on Saturday afternoon, having slept very little and going the long way around via Vienna. My first walk after checking in to my hotel was to the church where the concert would be. It looked beautiful from the outside. I spent the remainder of the afternoon walking around Vilnius’ Old Town, taking pictures and looking forward to the concert. A bit of resting in my room, then it was time to go.

The guys were still on stage soundchecking while people already stood in the anteroom waiting. I watched them through the door and instantly started smiling when I caught some of the music. Some minutes later we were allowed to enter the church and I was completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the room I was in. What an amazing backdrop for a concert. I walked to my seat in front row center and could not stop smiling. I already knew it was worth coming here. I looked around and saw a full house – sold out it seemed.

A little after 8 p.m. the local promoter walked on stage and announced the band. Polite applause as they walked out. They started with ‘Sunday Morning’, which had been my haunting tune for a few days. I was completely blown away by the acoustics in the room – the sound was full and clear and unbelievably beautiful. I had felt a bit heavy-hearted beforehand because it was going to be my last concert in a while, but when they started singing, all my sadness left me. Their music just makes me so happy, it’s impossible to cry.

‘Heiðin’ was next and then three English songs in a row, my favorite ‘Days ‘n’ Nights’, the lovely ‘Ages’ and ‘You just have to know of me’. It’s almost funny how such melancholic songs can make me so happy.

Especially the a cappella songs were made for this building. It was such a joy to listen to their voices rising and falling and coming at me from all sides. The church truly offered surround sound. I’m sure it sounded this amazing everywhere in the room.

The first half of the concert consisted of more English songs while the second half was almost exclusively Icelandic. It was as if the band felt they needed to ease the audience into the Icelandic songs. For me it worked well this way, because it took me from the more familiar songs that I know the lyrics to the more unfamiliar ones, where I can’t sing along.

I’m still struggling to find the right words to describe what I witnessed last night – magical? Beautiful? Otherworldly? Maybe there are no words that cover what this music does to me, maybe there is no way to bring across what it feels like to be there to see these guys on stage, so lost in their music and their singing at times that I can’t help but wonder if they’d notice they world falling apart around them. Yet at the same time they are very present in the here and now, watching the audience, taking in their reactions.

Me? After that one look around in the beginning I didn’t notice much of what was going on anywhere but on stage. Once again not having my camera with me meant being able to fully get lost in the music. During the first half of the concert I still tried to take in the surroundings, the stage, the walls, the high ceiling, but then I just let the sound carry me. I love that moment when everything else slips my mind and music is all there is.

As usual they ended with ‘Shades / Tárin’, then had us call them back for one last song they performed acoustically. Once again the concert left me wanting more. I would not have wanted to miss this for the world.

When they walked off stage to go to the front of the room and sign autographs I got hugs and hellos. I followed them out of the main room, but stayed in the background chatting with Linda and Maria who remembered me from Plauen and told me a bit about the Russian tour. After everyone else was gone I got to talk to the guys and they even invited me to a bar for their after show get-together. That was certainly unexpected. There was a lot of talk and music before it was time to say goodbye with one last hug. See you next year, guys, I miss you already!


Sunday Morning
Day ‘n’ Nights
You just have to know of me
Orð að eigin vali
Þér eg unni
Lost in you
Nú gleymist ég

Land mins föður
Ljóð í sand
Látum okkur sjá
Á meðan jörðin sefur
Við dagsins hnig
Til hennar
Heyr himna smiður
Shades / Tárin

Góða veislu gjöra skal

Comments are closed.