Iceland Airwaves Day Two: Bloodgroup, Bárujárn, Love and Fog, Temple (10/31)

After my blog post yesterday I was able to see a few other bands before I went into a six hour coma due to sleep deprivation.

Bloodgroup performed last night at Harpa Silfurberg.  They are a band with a completely unique sound, a blend of electronic, metal and indie.  During the show everyone, with exception of the drummer and one of the members working a bunch of electronic equipment, would switch instruments, giving each song its own unique soundscape.  One of the members even played keytair (a guitar and piano combined), which added a very interesting element to the songs featuring it.  They had very amusing crowd interaction between songs which is always a plus, and in addition they had both a male and female vocalist, bringing even more diversity to their high energy live performance.  This is a band definitely worth seeing.

After Bloodgroup I headed over to Amsterdam to see Bárujárn.

Bárujárn is the present day Icelandic equivalent to American 1950s surfer rock, like Dick Dale.  The setting in Amsterdam was very intimate and it was great to see the band so close after being in large venues at Harpa prior.  The band consisted of a drummer, guitarist/vocalist, a bassist wearing some type of fur hat (which was pretty cool), and a woman playing a theremin (which added a very interesting layer to the driving rock.)  The band sang in Icelandic but spoke in English between songs.  They got many laughs out of the crowd with some pretty crude jokes, setting a great tone for the show.

After a night’s sleep and another day of exploring Reykjavík I began the night by seeing Love and Fog.

Love and Fog is described on the Iceland Airwaves website as an electronic duo, however most who see their show will notice that there are actually three members: a bassist, a guitarist and an absolutely beautiful keyboard player.  The three play together against the backdrop of a well thought out drum machine that is reminiscent of America’s New Wave music of the ’80s with a funk-meets-alternative type of twist.  Witty banter, danceable beats, and the fact that their amp was seated on two quarter-kegs of beer make this group a blast to see, especially in Hressó’s outdoor tent.

IMAG0135

*Love and Fog

After a bit of dancing there I mosied on over to Gamla Bió to see Temple, but was early and caught a remarkable acoustic band called Árstíðir, which was quite possibly the happiest I’ve been being early to anything.  With two acoustic guitars, one acoustic bass, a keyboard, a violin, a cello and captivating six part harmonies, this drumless sextet painted a landscape of beauty in sound.  Truly remarkable.

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*Árstíðir

Then Temple hit the stage.  Talk about a band that can take listeners from a place of peace and serenity to a firestorm of chaos and face melting.  This guitar and drum based Swedish band could have someone crying one moment and head-banging the next.  The bass player at one point began playing his bass with some sort of wooden stick.  They were certainly a show people will be buzzing about tomorrow.

That’s all for me tonight.  Check in tomorrow to hear reviews of Sólstafir, Young Fathers (a member of which I just met moments ago), and many more.  Goodnight Reykjavík!

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