Iceland Airwaves Day Three (11/7): DIMMA, Þhorir Georg, Kajak, Berndsen (Review)

Þhorir Georg


Genre-fusing Þhorir Georg kicked off the Friday night performances at Ið in a three-piece rock group, starting off with a low and somewhat soothing sound of fuzzy guitar and vocals. This was complemented by their calm and collected stage presence, but the excitement was still hinted at through subtle smiles during songs. By the second song, the charge kicked into the music, dominated mostly by the heavy percussion.


Kajak, comprises cousins Hreinn Elíasson and Sigurmon Hartmann Sigurðsson, who warmed up the frigid Friday night by fusing ethnic tribal beats into their pop soundscape. The tightly-packed venue, Húrra, vibrated under crimson lights spraying across the bright white backdrop, where a scenery slideshow was fading behind them. The set finished with a dreamlike constellation enveloping the cloth, as Sigurðsson bashed two drumsticks together. When you’re having this much fun, who needs to use the drum set?


Shortly after Kajak departed the stage at Húrra, a series of electric blips reminiscent of an early millennium computer powering up sounded throughout the room. David Berndsen, simply known as Berndsen when he’s performing, glided onstage shortly thereafter to the accompaniment of a heavy snare. The bright colored lights began to spin, reflecting off his black sequined t-shirt, as he began to blast the crowd with a  trippy, new-wave inspired ballad. “Don’t be offended,” Berndsen breathed after his first song. “Did I scare you? Because it’ll get much worse!” He immediately transitioned into his electronic hit, “Planet Earth,” and led the crowd in a retro Robot dance, proving that you don’t have to have been alive in the 1980s to get nostalgic about echoing synthesizers and droid-like dance moves.


‘Þunga Rokk’ (or, ‘heavy metal’) band, DIMMA, lived up to expectations Thursday night with an intensely energetic performance at Gaukurinn into the wee hours of the morning. While their music explores themes like deception and oppression, DIMMA still managed to keep themselves accessible to non-thrashing fans by blending punk rock and non-roaring vocals into their sound. So are they metal, or hard rock? The debate is still up for listeners, but nonetheless lead singer Stefán Jakobsson made sure to leave a fittingly powerful impression on the crowd before closing out the show. Just when it seemed like the sweaty-stranded vocalist had run out of energy, Jakobsson climbed to the top of the stage and gripped the ceiling with one hand as he stared into the audience with wide eyes and delivered the finale.

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