After seeing such talent on Iceland Airwaves 2018’s Wednesday night, I was very excited for Thursday night! In this article, you can read all about the second night of Airwaves.
The What’s On team is attending all days of Iceland Airwaves 2018, so keep an eye on our website for articles and updates.
Bedouine at Skúli Craft Bar
I made my way to Skúli Craft Bar for singer-songwriter Bedouine, only to find it completely packed with people when I arrived ten minutes before the show. The bar was filled to the brim, and there was no place inside anymore for people that were still arriving, including me. During the first part of Bedouine’s show, I was standing outside with heat lamps blasting down on me. Even though Airwaves put up a tent behind the bar, it only had sound streaming and no video, so that did not seem like a good option to me. The show appeared to be a live radio interview, something that was not clear based on the Airwaves app schedule. Bedouine did play a couple songs though, and her soothing, warm voice, and beautiful acoustic guitar play was a joy to the ears.
Ásgeir at Skúli Craft Bar
I decided to stay for Ásgeir, scheduled next at Skúli Craft Bar, as I really love his song Heimförin. I managed to squeeze myself into the bar, but if it was crowded at Bedouine’s show, we were crammed like sardines at Ásgeir’s. The singer-songwriter has been steadily working on his international career, hitting the charts in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, and Australia, and it was clear that Skúli Craft Bar was not big enough. His performance was also a live radio interview, and he played a couple of new songs that he wrote with his father. The audience was excited to hear new material, and I had the feeling most would have loved to hear more.
Tómas Jónsson at Gamla Bíó
Next, I decided to stop at Núðluskálin for a hearty noodle soup. Check this place out if you’re hungry and cold, their soups will warm you up and you will be ready for more Airwaves partying in no time. After dinner, I made my way to Gamla Bíó for Tómas Jónsson. Again, I arrived ten minutes before the concert, but this time, there was literally no one in the big venue and you could hear a pin drop. So, it’s difficult to know what to expect at Airwaves. Big names are put in the tiniest venues, and upcoming acts get lots of space. One minute before they started, a handful of people walked in. It took me a while to get used to Tómas Jónsson’s sound, but in the end, I really liked it. They make some kind of instrumental shoegaze rock, with prominent funky and at times eerie synth sounds. Their drummer did an amazing job, and the combination of sounds and instruments worked really well.
Lisa Morgenstern at The National Theatre
My next destination was The National Theatre for German pianist, singer and composer Lisa Morgenstern. The National Theatre is a gorgeous venue, it opened in 1950 and is designed by State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson. The main hall is beautifully decorated and has a great atmosphere. The perfect setting for Lisa Morgenstern, who put up a surprisingly emotional show. With a complex-looking electronic instrument on one side and a piano on the other, she played both instruments simultaneously, while also singing into two microphones. The result was a combination of a deep, buzzing bass and beautiful piano compositions, topped off by cries from the heart. The artist was visibly emotional, shedding a tear or two, especially at the end, when the whole audience was giving her a standing ovation.
Hugar at The National Theatre
After Lisa Morgenstern, most of the audience stayed for Hugar, and I decided to do the same. This two-piece band of Bergur Þórisson and Pétur Jónsson knows how to create a buzz, and with 50,000 likes on Facebook, 30 million streams worldwide on Spotify, and them making several requests to make Instagram stories during their concert, it’s clear they know how to market themselves. They had a rad light installation on stage responding to their music, and subtle visuals throughout the show. The venue was jam-packed, with a lot of people sitting on the stairs because all the seats were taken. Hugar’s instrumental, ambient post-rock, with keyboard, trombone, and guitar, and dry jokes (“You can sing along if you want to”) were well received by the enthusiastic crowd, who gave the band a standing ovation at the end.
Stereo Honey at Gamla Bíó
A smaller crowd than expected had gathered at Gamla Bíó for British four-piece indie band Stereo Honey. I have been listening to some of their songs lately (check out Icarus and The Bay) and was curious about their live performance. And as it turns out, they are a great live band. The lead singer moves naturally on stage and has the same effortless falsetto as on their EP Monuments. The rest of the band pulled off a solid performance, too. It seems like they’re getting well-known inside the UK, but still have a way to go when it comes to conquering the rest of the world.