And so it goes…

Árstíðir – Malzhaus, Plauen; January 26th, 2013

Back in September, when I saw Árstíðir performing in Plauen for the first time, I promised that if they won the award I’d come back to see them again. Thus, when I heard that they had indeed won the jury award, I immediately booked train and hotel. I could not think of a better way to start this concert year.

Considering Plauen is closer to Dortmund than Berlin, it takes an awfully long time to get there so I found myself on a train in the early hours of Saturday morning, trying to get some more sleep before I arrived. Shortly after noon I reached Plauen, over 8 hours after I had left home. Luckily, my hotel room was ready when I arrived and I got the chance to rest a bit.

Working for an online magazine has its benefits, one of them being that I sometimes get the chance to interview a band I really like. 🙂 I met up with the guys, Linda and Maria around 3:45 p.m. I was greeted with friendly smiles and hugs, apologies for being late included. 🙂 After a short waiting time they had agreed that Hallgrímur and Jón would talk to me. We settled in backstage and had a lovely and very lively chat for quite some time. It was such an easy interview, because they readily supplied stories and took cues from each other. I just had to throw them the occasional question. A fun start for sure.

I said goodbye and let them go to soundcheck, got some food and returned to the venue before the doors opened. Got a spot in front row from which I could easily get up and take pictures, walked around, had a chat with Linda and Maria and met the same couple I had hung out with back in September. Time passed slowly, but finally the award ceremony started. First up was a raffle among all those who had voted for the different bands. I can’t recall what they were giving out though, but 5 people were drawn with some ado.

Anway, speeches were given, first for Gankino Circus the winners of the audience award and then for Árstíðir, who had won the jury award.  The poor woman had much trouble with all the names, but I’m not entirely sure I would have fared any better so I tried not to laugh (and I thought Finnish names were difficult to pronounce ;)). Both bands received their awards, thanked everyone and posed for pictures.

I didn’t check my watch, but I think the concert started somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00. My seat remained empty most of the night, because I was taking pictures, but I spent much time sitting on the wooden frames that supported the ceiling or on the floor. Quite a few times I left the camera in my lap and just watched. Árstíðir’s music took a hold of me so much that it was impossible to detach myself and concentrate on taking pictures. I didn’t want to, but I don’t think I would have managed had I tried.

They started with the a cappella song ‘Land mins föður’ which they usually play towards the end of the concerts. It worked well to set the mood for the evening. Immediately a smile spread on my face and once again I got lost in the music. It’s kinda funny how with all of my favorite bands I tend to forget how amazing they are live when I don’t see them for a while.  Of course I know they are great, otherwise I would not go to concerts in the first place, but I forget what it feels like to actually be there. No matter how often I describe it and no matter how much I am looking forward to a concert, I can never quite capture what it is all about, neither beforehand nor looking back. The force with which the emotions hit me always takes me by surprise.

This time around something was different. Usually being at an Árstíðir concert makes me so happy I cannot stop smiling, but this time around I found myself on the verge of tears several times. I halfway expected this reaction to ‘Sunday Morning’ because its sadness has really struck a chord with me lately, but ‘You just have to know of me’ and especially ‘Nú gleymist ég’ really got to me. It’s all good, I don’t mind crying at concerts, I just hadn’t counted on it.

The guys were in a good mood, especially Jón who kept teasing the others about repeating things they already said last time they were in Plauen. Made me laugh. 🙂 There’s no need to mention that the music was beautiful. I realized that my favorites are changing every time. This time I enjoyed ‘Þér eg unni’ very much and was happy to hear them perform ‘And so it goes’. Not in Billy Joel’s version as they pointed out, but as arranged by the King’s Singers. It was all sorts of amazing. I had heard it in the live stream from the Christmas concert last December, but hearing it live was so much better. I also loved ‘Shades’ and ‘Tárin’, even though people clapped in-between. It made me grin, because we had talked about that in the interview.

They ended with ‘Ljóð í sand’ and left. Like the last time around the clapping would not stop and they had to come back for more. And like the lat time around I still don’t know what the song titles are. I know however, that one of them is a cover version and the other is their own song. And so it ended, even though I would have gladly listened for some more hours.

I hung out for a bit and chatted, then agreed with Linda to meet downstairs at the bar later and went there to see Gankino Cirkus. I was late to the party and the place was packed. Not feeling like pushing my way to the front I stayed on the sidelines. They were really entertaining, funny. It was truly a mixture of circus/theater performance and singing, so the name fit. Not really the type of music I would listen to at home, but certainly great live. I understood why the received the audience award. They sing in German so I’m not sure how much of it comes across for people who don’t understand the language, but it sure was fun for those who can. The audience loved it. For me it was a bit too different from the previous concert, but certainly not bad.

The night ended at the bar with 2/3 of Árstíðir, half of Gankino Circus, Maria, Linda and some other fans all sitting around one table. First there was talk about music, language and other things. Later there was singing too. I enjoyed being there, felt like being part of the family. Around 4 a.m. we said goodbye with hugs and my promise to see them again in April. 😀


Land mins föður
Við dagsins hnig
Sunday Morning
Lost in you
Þér eg unni
Day ‘n’ Nights
You just have to know of me
Á meðan jörðin sefur
Til hennar
Nú gleymist ég
Heyr himna smiður
Shades / Tárin
And so it goes
Ljóð í sand

– I promise, one day I’ll ask the guys to write down the titles for me. 😉

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