You are my brother, you are my kin

Árstíðir – Villa Baldauf, Marienberg; September 21st, 2013

It had been a weird day, not bad, just with a strange feel to it. The night out in Dresden was still in my bones, the conversations still in my head. It was a long and slow ride to Marienberg. The city was pretty and the villa indeed an interesting venue – I instantly liked it. The people who ran it, not so much. It was clear they didn’t want me there, merely tolerated my presence because Masha insisted that I was the band’s guest and had “access all areas”. You go girl! <3 The mood was subdued, but I avoided asking questions – everyone seemed pretty busy doing his or her own thing anyway.

The room they played in was small, possibly smaller than in Wuppertal and packed with chairs. The staff refused to let me in before the paying guests, but even if they had the conditions would not have been much better. There was just no place where I could stand and see all of the stage. It was in a smaller room with folding doors – looked nice, but blocked the view quite a lot. Once I realized it would not be possible to take pictures of the whole band, I relaxed into standing at the wall by the side of the room just to watch.

When Myrra started singing I was blown away by the sound. It was really amazing. Somehow everything about her set was emotional that night. She dedicated ‘Animal’ to Jón and with the lines “You are my brother, you are my kin, we howl at the moon with our awkward grin” I was in tears. This was going to be a tough one.

All of her songs sounded very beautiful, even though the audience refused to sing along to ‘Sail on’. For a moment she considered playing another song instead, but chose to play it anyway. Hallgrímur, Jón and Karl joined her for the last two songs as usual. I would have loved to hear more of that, but would have to wait until the next concert.

Setlist:

Insomniac
Animal
Kveldúlfur
Sail on
Við og við tvö
Láru lag

During the break, it was time to catch some air, try out if the view was better from behind the mixing desk (it wasn’t) and walk around a little bit. Chatted with Ragnar briefly who told me they’d play two sets. Nice. Took a look at the conservatory with Masha and had her get me a glass of wine before going back in. We stood behind each other by the wall, waiting. Linda got the best seat in the house – she just sat down on the side of the stage to the right.

When Árstíðir started playing I realized the sound was even better than it had been at the church the previous day. It was very clear, yet still a blend of instruments that was just right with nothing sticking out more than it should or mixed to the background – absolutely perfect! ‘Sunday Morning’ was the first song again. Towards the end I turned around to face Masha and sang the last lines to her “You don’t have to worry, different times will make you see. It can be great again you’ll see.” I smiled at her and she smiled back sadly. Still, I am sure to be right about this.

Jón announced ‘Á meðan jörðin sefur’ and sounded as if he had been crying. My heart went out to him instantly and I listened for hints of sadness in the tone of his voice for the rest of the night. There were many. I really wanted to go and hug him.

The set continued being emotional for me, I struggled with tears several times. Still, there was also some reason for laughter. “þher ég unni is a love song, like most of our songs, except for the next one, which is about death.” said Karl and  this time around Daníel made the “I’m not gonna translate this” joke. I laughed most though, when Ragnar screwed up the pronunciation of ‘Nú gleymist ég’. Yes, it has been a long and exhausting tour! During all this I was singing along too and at one point during ‘Ages’, Ragnar and I sang a line together. 🙂

Linda had a nice spot on stage during the first set so I decided to ask the guys if I could sit on stage too for the second one. I felt the need to be closer to the guys and at least I’d be able to see all of them from there. They did not mind so I quietly sat down in the back corner of the stage just before they walked on again. They smiled at me as they did. 🙂 I loved my seat, even though I mostly saw their backs. It was fun watching the audience’ reactions. They loved it and were listening attentively.

I can’t really describe the mood I felt as I sat there, melancholia maybe. Whatever it was, the tears were never far. Mostly I listened, once in a while I got up to take a few pictures, then sat down again. If I didn’t look into the room it was almost as if I was witnessing a private concert. <3 The setlist visible I could check where they were and I saw ‘Siðasta Kveðjan’ there. I got up just before and got ready to film. Ragnar turned to me and smiled, Jón announced the song as “one we don’t play very often” and asked Gunnar if he wanted to say more about it. Gunnar declined, but dedicated the song to me, <3  also briefly turning my way. I mouthed “thank you” and held back the tears as best as I could in order not to shake too much while filming. This close and with even better sound than in Esslingen, it completely blew me off my feet. The dramatic changes in the song always get to me and did not fail this time either. It is such a glorious piece of music. <3

Later they had planned playing ‘Land mins fjoður’, but settled for ‘Heyr, hymna smiður’ instead which was just as well. The audience loved it. After the show ended with ‘Shades’ and ‘Tárin’ they did not stop clapping. Their reward was a three song encore, one of the songs sung in the audience. The applause didn’t stop for a while even after the guys had left.

Setlist (out of order)

Sunday Morning
Heiðin
Á meðan jörðin sefur
Days and Nights
Ages
þér ég unni
Næturylur
You just have to know of me
Nú gleymist ég
Land mins föður
Orð að eigin vali

Ljoð í Sand
Við dagsins hnig
Siðasta Kveðjan
Til hennar
Shades/Tarin

Encore

And so it goes
Ísland farsældafrón?
Góða veislu gjöra skal

Once outside I hugged Gunnar to thank him and went to ask Jón if he was OK. Of course he answered “yes”, but I knew he wasn’t. Nothing I could do. 🙁 Slowly but surely everyone left until it was just me and the gang. Some late night food, a glass of wine and the remaining six of us sitting by the fireplace was how the night ended. Jón, Linda and Myrra were sharing stories, Ragnar played guitar, Masha just sat by the fire and I listened, talked, took it all in, just enjoyed being with my family. Unfortunately this came to an abrupt end with the concert organizers kicking me out, because I was not “a guest of the house”. Thus, I had to say goodbye long before I was ready to do it. When I hugged Jón he told me he would leave after this concert. Even though I knew his departure was coming, I did not expect it during the tour. I told him I would miss him and to take good care of himself.

I managed to hold back the tears until I was outside and some way away from the house. :'( This was not how I had imagined my one year anniversary with the band to end. With all the pain I felt, the ray of light was that I would see them again in less than a week – the tour was not over yet. 🙂

Árstíðir  Germany tour fall 2013 – 8 concert down, 3 to go. Next stop: Osnabrück

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