Iceland Airwaves Day Five (11/9): Var, ghostigital, Rökkurró (Review)

My skin feels smooth as a baby’s bottom after swimming in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, located about a half hour outside Reykjavìk. It’s a natural swimming pool filled with minerals that are really good for your skin, and it’s heated by geothermal energy below the Earth’s surface. Maybe the coolest part though is how it’s located in the middle of a lava field. As the bus got closer to the lagoon, it became rockier and rockier until, no exaggeration, it eventually looked like we had landed on Mars. Visually, Iceland’s practically an interstellar experience.


Var performed an emotional set at Gaukurinn Sunday night. Most of it was slow and ambient, but at times the band blew up, playing as hard as it could. Exploding drums really grabbed everyone by the throat in those moments, because it was such a contrast to how most of the set sounded.


Playing next door at Húrra right afterword, ghostigital hyped up the crowd again after Var’s overwhelmingly melancholy set. Everyone came to turn up to a mixture of house and hip-hop, and the set got louder, faster, and rowdier as it went one. ghostigital had a saxophone player, but he wasn’t the one on stage to watch, even though he was the only one playing an instrument. Frontman Einar Örn danced like a malfunctioning robot for most of the show.


Gaukurinn swelled with good vibes during Rökkurró’s performance.  The band laid down ambient guitar and keyboard over downtempo beats. It was emotional; the kind of music that leaves you feeling sentimental. Singer Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir was very impressive, and people throughout the crowd commented to each other how beautiful her voice was. The band mostly played songs from their new album, Innra, and they saved something special for Iceland Airwaves, performing a song off Innra they hadn’t performed before ever.


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