Iceland Airwaves: Local Flavor of Day One

From a remote broadcast half way across the world to a hip-hop concert, day one in Reykjavík comes with mad flavor and style.

We kicked off the day off at KEX stage where radio station KEXP 90.3 from Seattle set up a live broadcast from Iceland Airwaves.  It was there we met Kevin Cole assistant program director and afternoon jock for KEXP. After dealing with a blown breaker and lost signal, Kevin graciously sat down to drop some knowledge on his experience being at Iceland Airwaves and also the culmination of getting the live broadcast up and running. He gave great insight into just how to approach the festival not only from the broadcasting and journalism side standpoint but also how to get all you can out of this beautiful city of Reykjavík.


MAMMÚT,  a local Reykjavik post-punk band with charm and charisma was the first up close and personal musical experience of the day.  They felt like you’re favorite band playing at your favorite local spot. That local spot being the KEX Hostel just off the ocean filled with a few hundred sweaty fans. Their sound is hard to describe. It seemed to contradict itself at times. Neurotic in delivery but so crisp and honest you had to give them credit for revitalizing creativity. Lead singer, Kata squeezed up front in between two guitarist and a bass player. Small in stature, she filled the room with her piercing vocals and avant garde scats, and shrieks over what felt tight chords brought by guitarists and bassist.  This incredible band definitely had my Airwaves starting off proper.

After sunset a belly filled with a delicious traditional Icelandic meal from Tapas Barinn, I headed to the Gaukur á Stöng for some hip-hop Icelandic style. BlazRoca is the name and rocking the crowd is his game. Clearly a hometown favorite among Icelanders, Blaz tore the house down with charisma a ruthless delivery. His rhymes, although completely in Icelandic, still engaged the crowd foreign festival goers.  Backed by his production team Madness4real and brother Cesar A. BlazRoca banged out song after song to a crowd that seemed to go from novice fans to all out devotees. Today’s energy is seemingly unmatched, but I can’t wait to see what Iceland Airwaves has up its musical sleeve the rest of the weekend. Check out more of our daily blogging, interviews etc. from Iceland Airwaves 2011 here.


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