Finally, a day with a bit more relaxation came our way. The Covering International Festivals: Iceland class of 2014 went on the Golden Circle Tour for day four. It felt so good to finally have a day where we weren’t working nonstop. It was also great to get out of the city, even for just a few hours, and enjoy the expansive stretch of untouched Icelandic nature.
Vorheese at Harpa Kaldalón started out the last full evening of Iceland Airwaves 2014. This DJ’s easy to find beats and openness to the audience on the stories behind her music, her ability to build a connection with the crowd in such a short time is commendable. A few of her stories were about how difficult her move to New York was in 1997, and although it played on the empathy of the crowd, it added volumes to her ambient-style music. Vorhees was playing at Harpa Kaldalón, a large sit-down venue where it is easy to get distracted – unlike a lot of the other venues at Airwaves. Fortunately, the audience seemed attentive and engaged as Vorheese poured her soul to those in attendence. Although this genre of music is unfamiliar to some, Vorheese made it seem easily accessible and proved that it can be entertaining in a live show setting.
Another group that has been anticipated since March, Blaenavon held tightly to audience disappointment and didn’t let go for any reason whatsoever at Gaukurrin. Their stage presence was the strongest that had been seen, the crowd was loud at the most appropriate moments, and the lead singer even liked to call those audience members out who knew each and every word. It probably helped that the venue is one that is very intimate, where the audience is forced to be close to the performers or to seem completely removed. Whatever Blaenavon was doing, they better keep doing it. Not only did the crowd almost start a protest at the announcement of the last song, but the lead singer threw his guitar down in the heat of the performance. Blaenavon is an act that has potential to make it out of Europe, and expand to a world-wide audience.
Brain Police played one of the latest shows, starting at 2:30a.m. at Gaukurrin. The crowd was very receptive of their hard rock music, especially for it being so late at night. It was kind of hard to believe that everyone still had so much energy to dance and rock along to the show, especially when they played “Womble Dust”. Although it was a bit different than others shows that have been reviewed, it was still enjoyable and a good way to wrap up for the night.
In the wee hours of Thurday morning, Fredricksen was jamming as hard as a singer-songwriter duo could possibly jam. Jed & Hera from New Zealand played a very entertaining and relaxing set, especially because chemistry between the two on stage was electric. The only bone to pick is really with the audience; who decided to talk instead of listen to the musical delicacy that was there to see. Jed & Hera put on a great, captivating show – even more commendable, considering there wasn’t much frill or electric thrill from them, with the rawness of just the two singers, guitars, and snare drum. It just goes to show how much talent these two possess. Throughout the set, the crowd started to settle down a bit more and finally started to appreciate the show that was right in front of them. Perhaps it’s because Jed & Hera created a connection with the crowd by telling them about each song, and playing a song entirely in Icelandic towards the end of the set in honor of Airwaves. Most certainly, a solid way finish, and tie the bow that has been Iceland Airwaves 2014.
The class has a surprise excursion tomorrow, and the only thing we know is to bring swimsuits. I think we’re all hoping for a nice, relaxing day to decompress after covering one of the largest festivals in Europe – definitely the largest festival I’ve ever been to.