Great sound, bad lights and a new cello player

Árstíðir – CC Bolwerk, Vilvoorde; November 20th, 2013

It was a long trip and a close call, but I made it to the concert in time and I’m glad I did, even though my original plans had been different. This was Árstíðir’s first concert as a quartet, even though still not officially announced and I felt I needed to be there to support them. Of course I needn’t have worried. All went well, the audience enjoyed it and I left with a smile.

My day started at work, I left after lunch and made the track from Dortmund to Cologne, to Brussels and on to Vilvoorde. The last train was not only 10 minutes late, but also much slower than it was supposed to. Instead of the scheduled 20 minutes it took 30. Still, I arrived with roughly one hour to spare – no worries. Ran into Gunnar and Daníel at the venue. They had to sell their own merchandise this time. We said hello and chatted a little, then left them alone.

The venue was pretty nice, much like a theater with a huge stage. Being a guest I had gotten as seat way in the back so I choose to stand and be closer to the stage. 🙂 I saw a cello there so I knew they must have hired someone since Hallgrímur is currently touring with Ólafur Arnalds. I wondered if it would work for me, but all I could do was wait and see. It turned out to be just fine. Guillaume played well, especially considering there was only one day of rehearsals. It was not the same, nor did I expect it to be, but it was alright. Missing one guy does not mean not accepting the other. I’m sure during the course of this tour, he will bring more of his own personality into the show. We’ll see about that. 🙂

The setlist had not changed all that much since September, but of course they had already rearranged those songs. It was just a matter of bringing Guillaume up to speed. The added a new Icelandic a cappella song and took out ‘þér ég unni’. The also left out ‘Brestir’ and added ‘Kill us’. This was the biggest surprise, because once again it had been reworked. That song had had more incarnations than I can count and this one worked exceptionally well. When it started on the piano I had no clue which song it was, wondered if ‘Shine’ might have been completely reworked. Anyway, ‘Kill us’ was awesome. <3

With the recent Poets of the Fall tour still in my bones, it took me some time to get into the concert. Early on I realized that I didn’t feel like taking pictures. The light wasn’t good anyway or rather there was too little of it. So I settled for listening mostly. 🙂 Spent some time on the stage too – just walked up the steps on the side and stood, later sat right there. Karl and Ragnar both smiled at me when they spotted me.

The guys did not joke around as much as they sometimes do, but it wasn’t all serious either. They were just very concentrated on their music and somewhat nervous in the beginning. I have definitely seen them more at ease. What matters is the performance though and it was lovely. At one point Karl asked for more stage lights and Daníel started joking how nice iit would be if one could ask for sunshine like that and receive it. 🙂

The audience was mixed, but I’m pretty sure I was below the average age. As usual not many people had heard of the guys before. I guess young people don’t take a chance to check out this type of a band. Often the younger people I meet at the shows are the ones that saw them on tour with Pain of Salvation. Sad, really – they do not know what they are missing. I could not really see any audience reaction, but by what I heard I would say they enjoyed it.

Overall I had a good time. Didn’t get lost in the music as much as I sometimes do, but I was just happy to see the guys again and enjoyed watching them work. Nothing compares to watching one of your favorite bands do what they do best. 😀 The a cappella songs worked well and Guillaume even sang with them. There weren’t many noticeable changes to the other songs, they were more or less like they were at the last concerts in September. ‘Shine’ has evolved a bit more – it keeps getting better. When the end of the show neared I wondered if they would do ‘Shades’ and ‘Tárin’ and how. They did,with Ragnar taking over Jón’s part and it was brilliant. Yes, it’s all going to be OK. 😀

Setlist (out of order):

Heiðin
Á meðan jörðin sefur
Við dagsins hnig
Ísland farsældafrón?
Kill us
Orð að eigin vali
You just have to know of me
Látum okkur sjá
Land mins föður
Sunday Morning
Ljoð í Sand
Days and Nights
Heyr himna smiður
Shine
Næturylur
Nú gleymist ég
Shades/Tárin

Encore
Ages
Góða veislu gjöra skal

After the concert I gathered at the merchandise to chat with the guys for a bit. They were all really tired from the previous day’s travel. Thus I stayed until everyone else was gone, but said goodbye soon after. There will be more time for talking at other concerts. 🙂 See you in one week!

pictures of this concert

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