Árstíðir – CC T’ Vondel, Halle; December 1st, 2013
For the third time this year I was on my way to Belgium to see Árstíðir. This November tour was coming full circle, ending where it had started, just outside Brussels. Only this time it was the south of the city and not in the north. After Bordesholm I didn’t bother going home. The trip was so long that I would have had only an hour at my place before leaving again. Thus, I spent the extra time in Cologne, arrived in Brussels on time and went in search for my hotel. I had been rebooked to a new one, a bit further from the train station than originally planned, but still only a 20 minute walk. The place smelled funny, not the best I’ve ever been to, but it was clean and cheap and OK for just one night.
My train to Halle arrived on time and I got to the venue before they opened the doors. Soon they let us into the anteroom and I could escape from the cold. Inside I met Ragnar, said hello and talked with him briefly before he disappeared again. Once inside there was still enough time to get a drink. This time around the guys had someone to run the merch stand for them.
The concert hall was similar to the one in Vilvoorde. The stage was a bit too high for my liking and the front row a bit too far away from it. It wasn’t sold out, but the audience seemed attentive if a bit slow to respond. I walked around a lot, taking pictures from different angles, even from the stage. There were stairs leading up to it on both sides which I used a few times. As opposed to Vilvoorde, nobody seemed to mind. 🙂
The guys did their best, but the concert was weird somehow. In the beginning I was on the right side, behind the grand piano. I felt like being in a complete sound vacuum. Not much of the music arrived there. During ‘Á meðan jörðin sefur’ I could not hear anything at times – it later turned out to be a malfunctioning microphone. Everything got better as the concert went on and after a while I got into it, enjoying the music.
I spent a lot of time watching shadows on the wall – the stage lighting was interesting with many spotlights that led to shadows playing everywhere. I tried capturing them with my camera, but it didn’t work out quite the way I had planned. It fit nicely with the music though. 🙂 At times the guys looked a little bit lost on the big stage, but only because there was so much space around. It brought out the full effect of the spotlights though, contrasting the brightness in the center of the stage with the darkness all around. In the light there was music. 🙂
The whole room was set up like a theater. For me it always feels weird when the distance between stage and audience is so large – I like being close. Luckily I was allowed to walk around and get closer. 🙂 When the first half of the concert ended I was surprised it had gone by so quickly. After a short break they returned for the second set. I was especially looking forward to ‘Eris’ and ‘Shine’ wondering if they had evolved any more. ‘Eris’ was amazing, but ‘Shine’ had too much reverb for my liking. The version they played in Hamburg and Bordesholm worked better for me. Either way, I loved all the songs. Surprisingly, it was ‘Shades’ that moved me most that night. It brought me close to tears, but when I was asked why later, I did not have an answer.
Since it had not fully worked in the beginning, ‘Á meðan jörðin sefur’ returned in the encores and this time the microphone was fine. 🙂 ‘Góða veislu gjöra skal’ was the last song, played in front of the stage.
Á meðan jörðin sefur
Við dagsins hnig
Látum okkur sjá
Days and Nights
Orð að eigin vali
Land mins föður
Ljoð í Sand
You just have to know of me
Lost in you
Heyr himna smiður
Nú gleymist ég
Á meðan jörðin sefur
Góða veislu gjöra skal
We had lots of fun after the concert when almost everyone was gone. First we joked around about kung fu chickens and other birds that might do well in a horror movie. At some point we also talked about how well Guillaume fits in and they assured me they want to keep working together. Afterwards the guys had a photo session and I was allowed to watch. I sure hope I get to see these pictures one day. The woman who had sold the merchandise was the photographer’s assistant. Had a nice funny chat with her and a fan from Russia. Luckily Guillaume offered to take us back to Brussels, otherwise we’d have had to hurry to catch the last train. Still, it was time to say goodbye eventually. A last hug, a last wave, “see you at Christmas”.
In the car, on the way back to Brussels Guillaume shared a lot of stories about touring with the guys. He also mentioned how he immediately felt accepted and how much he enjoyed working with them. All I could say was “they do that, they make people part of their family.” <3 They will work together again for sure in some way and I certainly hope they’ll do it a lot. Guillaume fits in well. 🙂 It took quite some time to get back to the city, much longer than the train ride had been. Finally we arrived at the station. Guillaume got out of the car to hug us goodbye. “Take care, see you.” The two of us walked together for a bit, then our ways parted and I was alone with my thoughts. It was a good tour, I can’t wait to see what will happen next.