After a long flight from New Jersey, following a taxing game of wait to board an international flight, I walked through a bustling Icelandair airport. People came and went with the sound of clamored footsteps, differing languages and the constant roll of suitcases in the air. I walked out of the airport and a cold, chilling gush of air ironically welcomed me with a warm embrace. I arrived before the sun rised and gazed upon the lights of a wondrous city.
Through a tour I saw many sights in downtown Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland. The first stop on our tour was Harpa, a building that hosts many musical events including Iceland Airwaves 2013. Ojba Rasta and MAMMÚT were playing later on in the day at the Harpa and I was going to review their shows.
We visited a neighborhood pool built inside a small building. The process behind going into the pool is different from in America. In the U.S you would simply get into a pool and wash yourself off once you get out. In Iceland you have to shower before entering and you can’t bring shoes within the pool area or even the public shower area. The pool is a routine, a pastime to the Icelandic people.
The most interesting and enjoyable parts of the day was going into the hot pots in the back of the pool building. I headed outside in the cold breeze in my swimwear after I had gotten out of the shower. I walked in a slow and frantic pace as the cold air hit me, my destination was the hot pots. Similar to jacuzzis, they were hot pots in the outside cold air. The combination and experience brought along a serene calm.
I tried many different type of delicacies held by the culture like puffin and trout, and the famous Icelandic hot dog, with a combination of fried onions, aioli and sweet mustard. Later, I made my way back to the Harpa to sit in and review the my line up for the night.
Ojba Rama was a ballad of many instruments and players. The group has 11 members and each had their moments to display their skills. The group sound was a combination of reggae. What is interesting about Ojba Rasta is their ability to adjust their sound or change out an instrument and change the sound drastically from a reggae based sound to a slow tempo mediterreanean based sound.
MAMMÚT was an amazing show. The sound of the music was of searing punk. The songs and tempos were manic and emotionally driving. The two guitarists, Alexandra and Amar, carried the performance with their ability on the guitar. The most attention grabbing and entertaining part of the show was the vocalist, Kata. Kata has a wide array of sounds within her voice, added with the music and tone, her voice made the songs creepy demented and so alluring. She hypnotized the crowd with her voice and manic movements as songs played on as if she was possessed or had gone mad.
This was a great way to spend my first day in Reykjavík. Tune in for the next blog and follow my updates on Twitter: @BryceCoachman.