After finally getting some sleep, our class broke apart early from our hotel to start gathering the quotes and facts that are going to make up our last two culture stories. I spent it swimming in a pool, soaking in hot pockets, and sweating in the sauna at Sundhöllin with Megan in the morning, and exploring the culture of coffee here in Reykjavík wihile talking to some of the people who work with it daily – stay tuned to hear that story – and caught some bands in the evening.
Kaleo played at Harpa Norðurljós at the very start of the day on Thursday (12:20am), but that didn’t stop audience from filing in to finish off their evening of entertainment here at Iceland Airwaves. The group played a lot of music that I hadn’t heard before – probably because I’m American, go figure – and it was great to hear “new” music from them. Kaleo is playing multiple shows throughout the festival, and they brought in some special instrumentation for Airwaves, including a cello, violin, harmonica, and another guitar. The crowd ate it up – the sound filled the room so much more than anything else that I have seen at the festival, and there was more dancing from the crowd than I’ve seen so far, too. They loved the music that’s on their self-titled album Kaleo, and they loved the music Kaleo played that was newer, too. All in all, Kaleo brought much more to the stage than they seemed to in their first album, and what could come next from this band is infinite. In a good way, hopefully.
CeaseTone was a surprise to Dan, Jessica, and myself. With a name that derives from “Sea Stone”, and studio-recorded music that sounds more folk-y, it was a pleasant surprise when the electric guitars started blaring in the faces of the audience members, and over half of the crowd was jamming right along with the band with their even mix of electro-rock. CeaseTone has been playing multiple times throughout Airwaves this year, but this was a show taking place at 7:10pm at Frederiksen, which seemed to be too small of a venue for CeaseTone’s show. But, the group made do, and proved that they have a lot to offer – even at a small venue.
Phox made an appearance at Reykjavík Art Museum, and started at 10pm, to an already-full venue, which remained constant throughout their set. Phox has a solid studio sound, which translates live, but from the view from the back of the crowd, it seemed like the audience was looking for more in the stage presence caption from the band. Constant chatter rang throughout the attendees, and although the lighting was more intricate than other shows at Airwaves, it didn’t seem to do much in the ‘General Effect’ category for Phox. This six-piece band from Wisconsin sure has a lot of talent to offer, they just need to show it now. Literally.
It’s hard to believe that day two is already wrapped up – but I’m already looking forward to everything day three will have to offer. More interviews, potentially some exploring of this gem of a city on this island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and of course, more bands to catch. Maybe it’s the festival, maybe it’s the people, and maybe it’s the music; but I find myself falling more and more in love with this city with each step I take down the street. This could be dangerous. Stay tuned!