Enthusiastic audience, powerful performance and Guillaume’s last night

Árstíðir – A 38, Budapest; May 8th, 2016

The Árstíðir concert in Budapest took place aboard a ship near one of the many bridges on the Buda side of the city. I had great memories of the last concert I had seen aboard a ship in 2013 in Hamburg and was hoping for something similar. I was not disappointed. The ship was bigger than expected, but came with an enthusiastic audience, friendly staff, great sound, interesting lights and a show that had the highest energy since Prague. It was awesome!

After a long train ride Budapest greeted me with sunshine and I would have loved to go exploring right away, but there wasn’t much time for it. Luckily there would be an off day in Budapest to do all that. For now getting ready and going to the venue was the thing to do. Met Robbin and Ragnar on the way, joked about me carrying my backpack with all my stuff, found the boat, had a drink, enjoyed the sun and waited. I had been in a terrible mood all day, full of melancholia and negative thoughts. Post tour blues isn’t new to me, but getting it before the tour ends is weird. Nothing to do but wade through it and hope for better times. Things did get better with the first hugs and that was only the start to a wonderful evening. 🙂 Once the doors opened I met Masha and she showed me a picture of some restaurant’s venue that offered “Sliced Stephanie” – we decided I’d better change my name for the time being. 😀

People came late, but slowly the place filled up, with a much younger audience than at any of the Austrian shows. There were no seats either so this already looked promising. The support band Naked Woods started around 8 pm. They were very listenable and put on a good show. Some people had obviously come for them, but not so many. I’m not entirely sure they were a fitting warm up, but the audience liked it and cheered them on. It was a good start.

A bit after 9 pm the guys finally walked on stage – in total darkness this time. ‘Himinhvel’ started and as the sound built up so did the lights – it was otherworldly beautiful and I found myself smiling instantly. The music was very soothing for my weird mind that night and by the time we reached ‘Someone who cares’ all the sadness inside me had faded. Those who think music doesn’t have healing powers might have never attended an Árstíðir concert. 🙂

The audience reactions were powerful from the start. They screamed, they cheered and they clapped, not only after a song has ended, but sometimes as soon as they heard the title or recognized the first notes. There was so much joy everywhere that it energized the band and they played as if their lives depended on it. It was beautiful! Not only was the audience enthusiastic, they deeply appreciated the music and listened quietly during the softer parts of the songs an the a cappella pieces. Overall they were much livelier than some of the audiences I had seen in Austria and very loving. It made me happy to be part of this and feel how much this meant to the guys.

They did not take a break this time so the setlist was slightly shorter than some of the others, but the band put on such a powerful performance that it didn’t matter at all. It was Guillaume’s last night on this tour so I paid special attention to his playing. What a finale! It brought some flashbacks to the night on MS Stubnitz in Hamburg three years ago, shortly after he had joined the tour and the first night I felt the new band set up really fit. So many places traveled since, so many memories… <3

Not only did they have an amazing audience that night, the sound and lights were just as great. Several times I had goose bumps all over as if I were hearing the songs for the first time and when I didn’t try to capture the great lights with my camera I got totally lost in the music. More than one song moved me to tears while I was smiling throughout and I can’t even say what the highlights were because everything was incredibly beautiful. All I know is that I did not want the night to end.

‘Shades’ rang out and the audience would not stop cheering. Of course we got an encore that brought a great night to a close. 🙂 So many people came to talk with the guys after – it was fun watching it. I complimented all on them on the great show, Gunnar was in a hugging mood and wrapped me in his arms right after the gig, Guillaume was all chatty and a little sad he had to go, Karl gave me the lights rider after I pointed out how good the lights had been – it sure is a fun read. 🙂 I stayed for a long time, chatted, hugged, shared a beer (!) with Ragnar (OK; half a beer, I could not bring myself to drinking a full one) and finally helped carrying stuff out to the bus. The guys left, I walked A. back to her car and had a good look at all of Budapest’s city lights on my way across the bridge.


Things you said
Someone who cares
Á meðan jörðin sjefur
Þér ég unni
You just have to know of me
Sunday Morning
Orð að eigin vali
Nú gleymist ég
Ljoð í sand
Við dagsins hnig
You again

Góða veislu gjöra skal

pictures of this concert

Árstíðir spring tour: 17 concerts down, 3 to go, next stop: Vienna

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