New friends, new songs and raspberry beer

Árstíðir – Rynek Glowny, Myslowice; July 19th, 2013

My original plan had been to fly to Krakow on the 19th and see the concert there on the 20th. When this concert was announced I immediately checked if it was possible to get there on time from Krakow airport, but public transport was too slow. Thus, I did what I usually do in these cases and rebooked my flight, now landing in Katowice on the 19th. This brought the challenge of squeezing my notebook, my full camera bag and a few clothes into a ridiculously small backpack, because any additional luggage was to be paid extra. It was quite surprising how much can fit into very little space. 😀 Arrived noon-ish, checked in to my rather posh hotel and explored Katowice for a bit. Unfortunately most of the downtown area was one big construction site.

I could hardly believe it had been less than a week since the last concert and only two days since I had listened to the radio broadcast from Vilnius on my computer, wishing I could be there and crying happy tears at the beauty of it all. It always surprises me how easily I adjust to life on the road and how difficult it sometimes is to return home and get into my daily routines again. Yet if there wasn’t such a vast difference between my “real life” and going to concerts I would not enjoy it so much.

In the afternoon I made my way to Myslowice, a small town just 11 km away. As small towns are, there was not much to see, but the sunny weather made me happy. The stage was set up on the main square with two rows of chairs in front of it, way too far back, just strange. The guys arrived for soundcheck, I said hello and chatted with Masha for a while. M. and O. arrived, also fans and friends of the band. Nice people, we enjoyed talking.

As the time for the concert drew closer a few people came and sat in the chairs. We decided the distance was too large, took three chairs and created our own VIP section closer to the stage on the left. A few kids gathered by the side of the stage, watching from there. Some of them forgot all about playing and stood there with their mouths open. 😀 My camera was resting safely in my bag so I had the chance to just watch and enjoy. The audience was small, but they loved it and even the people from the cafés and bars around the square cheered after every song.

Apart from the known and much loved songs Árstíðir usually play, they treated us to a few new ones: One was a traditional Icelandic song (“very macho” singing, as Ragnar explained) and two were newly written. So new in fact that they did not have names yet. Especially one of them I fell in love with right away. The beautiful cello melody got to me immediately. Judging by Gunnar singing the lead I would guess this is his song. The other one was really nice too with Jón singing the lead.

We had the best seats in the “house” by the side of the stage. And as long as I didn’t look towards the square I even forgot how few people had come. When I did, it made me feel a little sad, but those who didn’t come will never know what they were missing. We got a beautiful concert, with Árstíðir giving their all for everyone who had found their way to the main square that day.

I loved every minute of it, happy to be there, letting the music carry me. The new songs alone made it all worthwhile, but I’m sure I would have liked it just as much otherwise. The open space and stage suited the guys and the sound was just as good as in an inside venue. O. and M. were happy as well, especially M. when Ragnar dedicated ‘Shades’ to him. 🙂 When it was over, the audience dispersed quickly, only few stayed for a chat.

Setlist (out of order)

Sunday Morning
Days and Nights
þér ég unni
And so it goes
Á meðan jörðin sefur
Við dagsins hnig
You just have to know of me
Ljoð í Sand
Lost in you
The very macho Icelandic one
Júli lag
Nú gleymist ég
Jón’s new song
Shades/Tárin (dedicated to M)

Once the instruments had been packed our group got a tour of the culture center that had invited the guys. Afterwards we gathered at a nearby pizza place for a drink and chatted until it was time to say goodbye. I left with O. and M. – we made plans to go to Krakow together the following day and agreed they’d pick me up at my hotel in the morning. Goodnight everyone. See you tomorrow!

Árstíðir summer tour – 4 gigs down, 1 to go. Next stop: Krakow

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