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Iceland Airwaves Thursday Night


Last night at Iceland Airwaves was fantastic, as was to be expected. As a constant sufferer of FOMO, the hardest part for me is to choose between all the great stuff that is happening simultaneously all the time! What a first world problem.

When I’m not working at What’s On, I’m studying illustration, so yesterday I decided to do sketches of all the gigs I saw. Dark, crowded concerts are not always the best conditions for drawing but that may have made these more interesting.

Iceland Airwaves Thursday Night

As usual I started out at the off-venues, the first being Kriki at Sólon. Kriki invited the audience into a dreamy soundscape, hypnotising them with their soothing and unique sound. Kriki’s frontwoman and main songwriter, Katrín Helga, gave an intensely personal insight into her love life with her melancholic, yet witty lyrics and attitude. They’re working on an album that is due this winter and I can’t wait to hear it.

Kriki© Elín Elísabet Einarsdóttir

Next up was Grísalappalísa, playing at Herrafataverzlun Kormáks og Skjaldar, a beautiful men’s clothing store on Laugavegur that provided a strangely fitting backdrop for the crazily energetic, ever-sexual rock music that is Grísalappalísa. They’re one of my favourite Icelandic bands, especially for seeing live. They’re playing at Harpa tonight – go see them if you haven’t already!

Grísalappalísa© Elín Elísabet Einarsdóttir
Gunnar Jónsson Collider© Elín Elísabet Einarsdóttir

Later on I headed to Húrra to witness Gunnar Jónsson Collider’s psychedelic dance-friendly set of electro-music. It was laid back yet rhythmic to a point where I couldn’t stop myself from moving.  I’m a big fan of two rock bands he’s been a part of, Coral and Bob, but I had never seen his solo stuff before. I’m glad I did and I certainly will again.

Harpa was my next stop, seeing the lovely Mercury Rev. It was just so beautiful. Such great melodies and such a great sound – I had a wonderful time. I’d been quite excited about this concert but I didn’t anticipate that it would make me feel all these feelings. Absolutely beautiful.

Mercury Rev© Elín Elísabet Einarsdóttir

I managed to squeeze in a couple of songs by Úlfur Úlfur at an absolutely packed concert in Harpa’s Kaldalón hall. It didn’t seem like quite the right venue for this show since it was a sitting concert but they rocked it anyway, and so did Kött Grá Pje that took the stage after them. He’s always a thrill to see live, as I mentioned in yesterday’s review.

Úlfur Úlfur© Elín Elísabet Einarsdóttir
Kött Grá Pje© Elín Elísabet Einarsdóttir

I was quite excited to see Father John Misty and he did not disappoint. What a charming performer – he had the audience wrapped around his finger as he danced confidently to his now-sincere, now-ironic songs. The lyrics were entertaining, straight forward and unusual. The sound was a bit off in the beginning but they recovered nicely and all in all it was a great gig.

Tonight I’m going to see the Austro-Icelandic pop band Chili and the Whalekillers at Center Hotel Plaza and I’m definitely seeing Perfume Genius and Ariel Pink at Harpa later on. See you there!

Father John Misty© Elín Elísabet Einarsdóttir

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