Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick, and think of you

Árstíðir / Anneke van Giersbergen / Pain of Salvation – Majestic Music Club, Bratislava; April 6th 2013

So here I was, setting out on my first tour with Árstíðir, admittedly a bit nervous about the whole thing. While I had now doubts I would enjoy seeing Árstíðir several nights in a row, I wasn’t sure the whole package would work for me. Nevertheless I was looking forward to seeing the guys again and expecting surprised looks because I hadn’t mentioned I would be there.

Arriving in the early afternoon I decided for some sightseeing. Walking aimlessly around the city streets I ran into Maria, Hallgrímur and Daníel who were indeed surprised to see me there. 😀 We walked around the historical part of the city until they had to go back for soundcheck and invited me to come along. Thus I got to watch them set up things and fiddle with the sound, which was really nice. It also proved that mixing sound is a job I could never do. To me it all sounded OK, but Maria felt something was off. Karl walked to the center of the room, listened from there, made a few corrections and it sounded far better. So big fail for my skills there. 😉 They were all happy and surprised to see me there, but more chatting would have to wait until the evening.

Went back to the hotel, left my camera there, had dinner and returned to the club. It was almost time for the doors to open and there were only a handful of people around. No stress getting to the front then. 🙂 The entire stage was decorated like a 1970ies living room, with vintage furniture, lamps, a Jimi Hendrix poster and ugly wallpaper. It looked just great. 🙂

For the start of the show Daniel G. (Pain of Salvation’s singer) walked out, dressed for winter, telling us he was expecting guests and wondered where they were. Anneke joined him so he told her he had to leave and pick up the others and that the keys were on the table. Thus started the show.

Anneke has a great voice and played a good selection of songs: solo ones, covers, The Gathering Songs, one Anathema song. For one song she had Karl and Hallgrímur support her, for the ‘Time after Time’ cover it was Gunnar, Jón and Daníel and for the Anathema song all of Árstíðir. It all worked well. The songs were beautiful and having guests brought some variety. I loved her set, it was a great start into the concert.

Setlist

My Electricity
4 Years
Yalin
Time after time (Cindy Lauper cover)
Bautiful one
Locked away
Jolene (Dolly Parton cover)
Circles
Drowning man (U2 cover)

Anneke left the stage and Árstíðir remained, most of them sitting comfortably in chairs or on the sofa. Just seeing them on stage painted a huge smile on my face. I immediately realized it had been a good decision not to bring my camera. I did see some pictures, i.e. framed scenes with my mind at times, but generally I managed to just enjoy the music.

I can’t quite recall in which order all the songs they played, but what I do recall is the happiness I felt. The music was as beautiful as ever and once again I marveled at how good they really are. Not only did I listen with me heart wide open, but I enjoyed watching them work. When they first were announced only very few people even clapped and as usual, most had not heard of them. They listened though and somewhere around the second song Árstíðir had them. The cheers grew louder with every song. I love seeing and hearing that happen and so far their magic has never failed. Occasionally there were comments from the audience like “What does it mean?” when they didn’t translate the song titles, but all in all they were mostly quiet.

‘Þér ég unni’ is always a special treat, I think I would not mind listening to an entire concert of choir songs. My personal highlight, however was ‘Nú gleymist ég’ – performed with such intensity that it almost brought tears to my eyes and I can’t even be sure if those were tears of joy or of just being moved by the sheer beauty of it. <3 They played almost exclusively Icelandic songs, ‘Shades’ being the only exception. Again, the quiet transition into ‘Tárin’ didn’t work, people clapped and cheered, but it was a good sign. After ‘Tárin’ Daniel G. of Pain of Salvation joined them for one song. They left the stage to great cheers. While they were taking down their equipment Ragnar told me they’d played ‘Nú gleymist ég’ for me – I was so overwhelmed I didn’t know what to say. <3

Setlist

Everwake (Anathema song with Anneke van Giersbergen)
Á meðan jörðin sefur
Heiðin
Þér eg unni
Till hennar
Ljóð í sand
Nú gleymist ég
Shades
Tárin
Road Salt (Pain of Salvation song with Daniel Gildenlöw)

While the stage setup was changed a little bit, I spent the time reminiscing about the time that had just passed. I could have gone home right then and there and would have been perfectly happy with what I had. However, I was curious what else the night might bring. One should never miss the chance to check out new music. 🙂

Daniel G. entered the stage alone once more and told us about his wife’s grandmother who has dementia and how she lives in a 50ies or 60ies bubble. Thus hey had created a 70ies bubble here and would go back in time during the course of the evening, starting with a new song. He was joined by the guitarist for this one, then the rest of the band walked on stage as well.

All in all it was a fun and entertaining show with lots of great new music for me to listen to. Daniel G. was the MC for the night, introducing the songs and slowly leading us back into the past. I loved the variety they offered and already found a few favorites.

I enjoyed most of what they played, especially the ballads. They played their own songs as well as several cover versions. For one of the songs they brought Anneke back on stage, for one they were joined by Hallgrímur and Karl and in the end, for 1979 all of Árstíðir were back on stage. They looked so happy. At the end I knew it had been a good idea not to leave early. 😀

Setlist

Falling Home
Diffidentia
Linoleum
Mrs. Modern Mother Mary
Ashes
Help Me Make It Through The Night (Kris Kristofferson cover)
Perfect Day (Lou Reed cover)
She Likes to Hide
To the Shoreline
Holy Diver (Dio cover)
Stress
Disco Queen
Second Love
Iter Impius
The Perfect Element
Spitfall
No Way
King Of Loss

Encore:

Dust In The Wind (Kansas cover)
Chain Sling
1979

After the gig, I went over to the merchandise stand to finally greet and hug the guys. We found quite a few things to chat about before it was time to say good-bye. I finally got Tvíeind (their remix album) too and a CD for a friend. I could not have been happier when I left and I’m sure I smiled all through the night. And the best part was that the next concert was only a day away. 😀

On tour with Árstíðir / Pain of Salvation / Anneke von Giersbergen – 1 gig down, 6 to go. Next stop: Budapest

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