Iceland Airwaves Day One (11/5): Oddur (REVIEW)

It’s difficult to believe that the class photo we took at the Keflavík Airport was snapped this morning. Those half-asleep but excited expressions seem like they were from days ago, but all eleven of us have been parading around Reykjavík for the last 12 hours, eating Icelandic hot dogs with crunchy onions in the morning mist, exploring the downtown area where Airwaves has begun its five-day takeover, and dipping into hot pots at Sundhöllin like true Icelanders who desperately need to unwind.

Oddur helped kick off the Airwaves Festival with an evening pop-infused performance at Frederiksen. Frontman, Arnsúgur Odd Ingi Þórsson, held the spotlight with his melodic vocals and suit-and-tie formal wear, while his backup band appeared more casual in a garage band getup of plaid button-downs and zip-up sweatshirts.
Reminiscent of a slightly more soft-rock version of Neutral Milk Hotel with Icelandic lyrics, Oddur found their ideal setting in Frederiksen’s intimate beige and wood-accented bar while a chatty and enthusiastic crowd gathered together to watch them in mesmerization.

“I want to see everybody dancing!” Þórsson declared in his penultimate song, which triggered the crowd to sway in unison. He maintained his serious stance but pounded his heart rhythmically, before closing out the set with a deeper, heavier song that he described as “a little bird who can’t fly away, and instead uses its imagination.”

Oddur recently released their debut solo album, , which simply translates to ‘hi’.

Oddur will play two more shows at Airwaves, both off-venue, at Íslenski Barinn at 6 PM GMT on Thursday, and Kaffibarinn at 4 PM GMT on Sunday.

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