The second day of Iceland Airwaves was beautiful. The clouds from Wednesday parted and the sun shone on Reykjavìk for most of the day. It did drizzle for the a little, but the rain only made things more beautiful, as the statue of Leif Erikson stood prominently in a rainbow.
Fox Train Safari
The first band I saw for the night was at a tiny stage next Baejarins Beztu Pylsura, a dinky hot dog stand by the water. I was actually on my way to see another band, but a funky guitar solo caught my ear.
It turned out to be Fox Train Safari, a soul band from Reykjavìk. Upbeat and reminiscent of a disco-soul band from years ago, the crowd danced as much as they could as they munched on their hot dogs. It just goes to show that you can catch something worth dancing to almost anywhere in Reykjavìk during Airwaves, even if you’re just walking by a hot dog stand.
For a Minor Reflection
Often compared to post-rock group Explosions in the Sky, For a Minor Reflection oozed emotion at their 9:00 pm set at Harpa Silfurberg. Most of their songs started off with ambient guitar picking that sounded like a slow, dream-like trip through the cosmos. Then, after a long buildup, there was a big bang where the band played as fast as it could.
Though the songs all had very similar structures, they were passionate enough that there was nothing to do but want more at the end. The buildups and the climaxes were emotional and passionate, enough so that no one talked at all and everyone’s eyes were on the band the whole time.
Before the last song, pianist, Guðfinnur Sveinsson said, “We can tell you’re all liking it a lot, because you’re not talking during the songs. We really appreciate it.”
While rasta music can be very predictable, Ojba Rasta’s set at Húrra added a layer to the genre that made it interesting again. First: The band’s Icelandic and sings in their native tongue in a lot of their songs. Second: The band’s thick brass section.
While horns are common in rasta music, the brass section seemed to play a more prominent role in Ojba Rasta’s sound than the average rasta band. If you like Bob Marley, but haven’t given the genre much attention beyond him, Ojba Rasta is a good place to start. The Icelandic lyrics and prominent horns made a cliché genre fun again.