Árstíðir – Flensborghus, Flensburg; December 2nd, 2022
With the show in Flensburg, Árstíðir’s Vetrarsól tour kicked off for me for real and I was happy to finally see the full show. It turned out I had missed a few great ones in Utrecht and I really liked the setlist. It was a good first show of the tour.
Arrived in Flensburg in the late afternoon (surprisingly on time) and met up with my friend I. Made a quick stop at the apartment we had rented for the night and went out for dinner before the show. After some good food we found ourselves waiting outside Flensborghus for the doors to open. I had been there before so she knew the right doors and after they opened, we got seats at the front and spent the waiting tine chatting with J., who had arrived as well.
The room was full and everyone cheered loudly as the guys walked on stage – on time I might add. First they greeted us in multiple languages and asked if we had a preference of Danish or German, since we were close to the border and at the “home” of the Danish speaking minority in Flensburg. It seemed to be about equal between people who called for danish and those that answered “German”, so they decided to speak mostly English and show off some of the other languages during the show.
The setlist remained the same they had in Utrecht and started with ‘Ljóð í sand’. The lights at the venue were boring so I left my camera in the bag and allowed myself to be in the moment and the music. It felt good to just relax and enjoy. For ‘Hvenær kemur sól’ Daníel tried to make the announcement in Danish and had to ask for the word for “song”, Gunnar then translated the song titled, but could not remember the word for “sun”. It was funny.
‘Endatafl’ was the first song where I noticed that the sound was slightly off. Something just didn’t seem right. Later, it occurred to me that the piano was a bit loud. It got better again later, but there was no sound engineer in the room so the room so a few times it just wasn’t great. That did not keep me from enjoying the concert though.
‘Later on’ happened without any fuck-ups this time and I happily sang along. The song still hits me deeply and makes me very emotional. <3 ‘Passion’ is always welcome and made me smile. Ragnar talked about having eight albums and 90 minutes to play so they had to make decisions on which song to fit it. At that point I turned to I. and said “or they could play longer” – maybe one day…
I enjoyed the combo of ‘Shine’ and ‘While this way’, two of my favorites back to back, before ‘Shades’ brought the first set to a powerful end. Doing Árstíðir songs in the first half and then mostly Christmas songs in the second half works well for me.
Spent the break getting a T-shirt (they have red ones, how could I resist?) and talking to I. and J. some more. Before we knew it, Guillaume and Jean-Samuel were back on stage to play for us. I like the strings only version of ‘Heyr, hymna smiður’ a lot and it really set the mood for the Christmas set. 😀
Ragnar spoke about growing up in Sweden and how inside the band they had a little “Swedish club”. At that point Gunnar threw in all the Swedish clichés he could think of. 😉 All that led up to ‘Gläns över sjö och strand’, followed by the lovely ‘Jólin alls staðar’. <3
Now it was time for the a cappella set and more traditional Icelandic Christmas songs. Since the country didn’t have musical Instruments until late, they had a tradition of just singing and that’s what they did for us, including the French guys. 😀 It was truly beautiful, especially ‘Hátið fer að höndum ein’ – I have loved this song since I first heard it.
At that point I had to leave the show in Utrecht so I was curious about the songs to come. Ragnar talked about their own Christmas song, ‘Allt er hljótt’, they had written for the yearly show in Reykjavik and how they manages to make it neither Christian nor heathen. Gunnar added a few details and told us that it’s about animals that gather in a barn on a cold night to get warm. It made me very happy to have it on the setlist and I could not remember having heard them play it outside Iceland. It was lovely. <3
Next up was another surprise, ‘Ró’ for which Guillaume joined Ragnar on the piano. Until they played it I didn’t know I had missed the song. 🙂 ‘Things you said’ followed and they ended the set with the Icelandic version of ‘Silent Night’ and they even dared to sing the third verse in Danish. It worked and some of the audience even sang along.
We clapped and cheered loudly and of course they had more for us. First up was ‘Bringing back the Feel’ during which Ragnar wore a hat, Guillaume put on cool sunglasses and Jean-Samuel walked around blowing soap bubbles at the others. It was great fun! Then, for the very last song, they stepped off the stage and gave us a wonderful version of ‘And so it goes’ – it was the perfect way to end the show.
We said hello to everyone, got some hugs and old them what we had liked. That was a good start, see you tomorrow.
Ljóð í sand
Hvenær kemur sól
While this way
Heyr, hymna smiður – strings only
Gläns över sjö och strand
Jólin alls staðar
Hátið fer að höndum ein
Góða veislu gjöra skal
Allt er hljótt
Things you said
Heims um ból
Bringing back the feel
And so it goes
Vetrarsól tour 2022 – two gigs down, 12 to go. Next stop: Twist