Iceland Airwaves Day Three (11/7): Mafama, Ballet School, Moses Hightower (REVIEW)

Today was my favorite day since arriving in Iceland. I was able to sit down and interview members of the national hockey team and national rugby team for my final piece. Getting access  to players like that in the US is virtually impossible; so it was a very cool experience. While finishing my piece on Viking Culture in Iceland I was able to use our makeshift recording studio that we made in our hotel room which was quite the experience. I mean, what else would a bunch of radio students do in a foreign country?


Mafama kicked off the night at Húrra and got the crowd on their feet right away with their synthesizing rhythm and an overall exciting sound. As a whole the entire band had terrific energy and it’s just disappointing the crowd wouldn’t give them even more to feed off of. The lead singer tried to get everyone to bounce up and down at one point and the crowd just stood still. The only real downer of the whole performance was the fact that the lead singer seemed to be having a hard time staying on key. Often it was easy to tell he was missing the notes because it just didn’t fit in with the music. However, when he was harmonizing with the rest of the band he was solid. It was a good performance for sure, but it definitely could have been better.

An eerie sound came across the speakers at the Reykjavik Art Museum and seemingly all at once everyone in attendance shouted out screams filled with excitement. The lead singer of Ballet School Rosie Blair has an incredibly powerful voice, which vibrated off the old white walls of the museum. Her range was incredible and she could belt out the loudest high notes. Their music was very creative and was constantly changing throughout the set. It varied from pop to punk rock to touches of light opera and hip-hop. Ballet School performed an incredible set filled with moments of lyrical genius and fun beats anyone could dance to.The museum is an amazing venue as well for any kind of concert goer, it has plenty of room for fans on the main floor and a small balcony section for the more reserved audience. Ballet School closed off their set with the song “Cherish” and by the time the song was over it was clear that this band from Denmark had won the ears of attendees.

Right after Ballet School at the Reykjavik Art Museum Moses Hightower hit the stage. All the sudden I felt like was back at Buddy Guy’s on Wabash and Balbo, except for the fact it was all in Icelandic. Moses Hightower is an old school blues and soul band. They have a riveting style that just doesn’t seem to exist anymore. They played a blend of songs from their 2008 and 2012 albums. The only shame of this performance was the feedback the audience kept getting from the microphones virtually every song.


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