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. With her easy to find beats and openness to the audience on the stories behind her music, she was able to build a solid connection with the crowd in such a short time. She shared a few stories about how difficult her move to New York was in 1997, and it added to her music, which she intends to be ambient. Another thing to keep in mind is that she was playing at Kaldalón, which is a sit-down, larger venue that is easy to get distracted – unlike a lot of the other venues here 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 with the singer-songwriter duo Jed & Hera from New Zealand. They played a very entertaining and relaxing set. The mixing was better than other shows have been at the venue. The 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. Jed & Hera put on a great, captivating show with only the two of them and their two guitars. There wasn’t much frill or electric thrill from them, but that made their talent shine through. Throughout the set, the crowd seemed to settle a bit more. Perhaps it’s because they created a connection with the crowd by telling the audience about each song, and playing an entirely Icelandic song, too.
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.