After 48 hours of intense turbulence, long layovers, and even longer flights we finally landed in Reykjavík, Iceland. This was the first time that I have ever left the country so it was such an unreal expereince to dive right in to this wonderful new culture. My favorite thing so far was definitely the famous Icelandic hot dogs that I had been hearing so much about!
After a walking tour around the city it was time to see some bands. Uni Stefson played his first of several shows at Iceland Airwaves 2014 at the KEX Hostel. His wide vocal range and R&B like tone’s were an instant hit with all the festival goers in attendance. His stage presence and skill was so impressive that even during his mic check he received a huge round of applause. At the end of his killer set Stefson played one of his most well known songs, “Enginn Grætur,” which is influenced by a poem that was written by Jónas Hallgrímsson.
After grabbing another hot dog it was time to check out heavy metal band Conflictions at a bar named Gaukurinn. Conflictions nailed this performance and it was only boosted by the outstanding acoustics at Gaukurinn. The one thing that really stood out that was very bizarre was the fact that nobody participated in a mosh pit! This was one of the things I was most curious about when it came to the heavy metal culture of Iceland. Conflictions produced a sound similar to a blend of Avenge Sevenfold and A Day to Remember. While a serious heavy metal band, Conflicitons also made a point out of this show to have fun. That was obvious by the countless number of cheers that they and the crowd partook in.
Going from a band similar to A Day to Remember to a band that celebrated Nordic paganism was a major change in scenery. The entire show put on by Inferno 5 was bizarre and downright frightening. The lead singer recited these frightening lyrics right out of a Nazi book that he carried by his side the entire show. The crown throughout was silent in what I thought was fear but it turned out to be amazement. At the end of the show everyone in attendance stood up and gave a huge round of applause to this group. While a very odd performance it was musically fascinating. Inferno 5 used steel drums, kongo drums, an old school record player, a makeshift harp, and a french horn to produce their demonic sound. While not my personal cup of tea, they used so many instruments so effectively and their sound engineer was on point to make sure their quietist instrument could be heard throughout the large room at Harpa Kaldalón.