For today, my mind won’t let me stay

Árstíðir / Anneke van Giersbergen / Pain of Salvation – Club 202, Budapest; April 7th 2013

Second night in a row, just a 3 hour train ride in-between. After a good night’s sleep and breakfast all of that was easy. Lovely weather greeted me in Budapest, perfect for sightseeing. Not that there was much time, but the afternoon was lovely. I walked so far from the tram station that almost didn’t make it back in time for the concert. Had to stop by my hotel too and was lucky to get a sandwich there, before I hurried on.

The doors were already open when I arrived, but I still made it to the front. The audience was surprisingly relaxed, just standing about in the room. It was a great venue, all decorated cowboy and Indian style. Not sure if that was supposed to be serious or not, but it looked pretty cool and interesting either way. There was no barrier this time, we were right up against the stage. Not ideal for taking pictures, but I’d make it work somehow.

To my surprise they started at 7:15 already – I had somehow been convinced it would be 8. Either way it didn’t matter because I was there. Daniel G. walked out again to greet us. The previous night he has told us he was turning 40 this year and asked if there was anyone else who was 40. Apparently I was the only one raising my hand and he joked about feeling younger now, when I told him it was last year. This time he asked who remembered the 70ies so I replied “I do, but you know that from yesterday”. He told everyone to just go and ask me if they had any questions about that time. 😉

Anneke was up first again, absolutely lovely, just as the night before. Her set was almost the same as the previous night with Árstíðir joining her in the end. I just stood there, watching and listening and being happy. The nice people next to me allowed me to change places from time to time so I could get a different perspective for my pictures. This time it was OK to have my camera, because I’d had the previous night’s concert just to myself without having to worry about that. I love her selection of songs, they have just the right amount of variety and even though it’s mostly just Anneke and her guitar it does not get the last bit boring. Her voice could certainly carry an entire concert. Can’t say I have favorites yet, just find her entire set very enjoyable.

Setlist

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

Much too soon she had to leave and I got to see the ones I had come for. It felt somewhat weird to be at their feet so to speak and taking pictures proved a bit difficult, but I enjoyed being close. Ah the emotional rollercoaster they always put me through.

Their set differed a little from the previous night as ‘Till hennar’ had been replaced with ‘Kill us’. When I had wondered what the guys might play on this tour, ‘Kill us’ had been on the list and I was happy to hear it again. It’s just one of those songs that work exceptionally well live. In the beginning of the set Gunnar translated the song titles, joking “For the few people here who do not speak Icelandic”. 😉

The audience was very attentive, no talking in the background this time. Especially ‘Þér eg unni’ got a great reception. Small wonder. The guys can work miracles with just their voices.

Looking for words to describe what one of their concerts feels like I still fall short. With the living room setting they have here, it is almost like really being invited to their living room. Árstíðir are so much into their music and so lost in playing, that sometimes it feels almost too intimate to watch them work. When I see them standing or sitting their with their eyes closed, just playing as if no-one was watching, I wonder where they are at that moment. It sure seems like nothing could touch them or break their concentration. Thus I watched them work and smiled and closed my eyes from time to time to feel the music and let it take me away.

Daniel G. joined them for ‘Road Salt’, a song that has instantly become my favorite Pain of Salvation song – for now anyway. It was a beautiful rendition too. The set ended with ‘Shades’/’Tárin’, not interrupted by applause this time. It worked well, the audience loudly showed their approval in the end and I’m sure if they had not been standing up already, they would have at that point. Spent the break chatting with people around me, two of which were there for Árstíðir as well. We agreed it had been amazing. 😀

Setlist

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

Soon Daniel G. was back on stage explaining the theme for the night, how they had created their 70ies bubble with the living room stage and were going to go backwards, stripping away layers of memories as it happens when you have dementia. They started with ‘Falling Home’ a new song with only Daniel G. and Roger on stage. The rest of the band joined them for ‘Diffidentia’ and got the show going. Being less tired than the previous night I enjoyed their set much more, not only the quiet songs. They are growing on me; I might have to buy one of their CDs after all (or a few). 😉

It was an evening of conversation as well as one of music. It’s obvious how Daniel G. loves interacting with the audience, be it commenting on the fact that so many people take pictures or praising people who held up their lighters. There were quite a few funny moments.

I loved the flow of the setlist and how seamlessly they integrated covers with their own songs, even the unlikely ‘Help me make it through the night’ for which Anneke was back on stage. I found myself recognizing songs from the previous night, but I still don’t really know the titles.

For ‘Second Love’ Daniel G. commented that he wrote the song when he was 15 and would not write about “pain being larger than the universe” these days. Leo quipped that the first time around he understood “penis larger than the universe” which lead to a funny story from their first US tour about the border control officer asking for their bandname and when Daniel G. replied “Pain of Salvation” she asked “Penis what?”. 😀 They also had to start the song over and while Daniel G. was starting from the top, D2 started from second worse. Confusion, laughter and another start.

The Hungarian couple I had talked to earlier left during their set and thus missed seeing Árstíðir back on stage with them and an overall great concert. The audience was more attentive than the previous night which made for a better show overall. It ended with everyone back on stage for ‘1979’, Karl and Hallgrímur playing violin and cello, Ragnar with Leo on drums and everyone else singing harmonies. What a night!

Setlist

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

Encore:


Dust In The Wind (Kansas cover)
Chain Sling
1979

I stayed for quite a while after the show, there were chats and hugs and happy people. Everyone was busy signing autographs and quite a few CDs were sold. I asked Anneke which on had most of the songs she played and she recommended one. We chatted for a little bit too, then it was time for goodbyes and getting some sleep.

On tour with Árstíðir / Pain of Salvation / Anneke van Giersbergen – 2 gigs down, 5 to go. Next stop: Vienna

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