Iceland Airwaves Day Three (11/6): Toneron, Dad Rocks!, and Ariel Pink

Sadly, I can’t tell you much about what Reykjavík was like outside of my hotel room today because it was a work day for me, but I can tell you what it was like inside. My bed was comfortable, my laptop was hot and the first draft of one of my upcoming stories was edited and re-edited at least ten times. When I finally finished my draft, the class had a quick group dinner at Núðluskálin before we went our separate ways for another night of great Icelandic music!

TONERON @ GAUKURINN:

Saxophone lovers of the world, rejoice! Last night at Gaukurinn, the two men of alternative-electro band Toneron came out and delivered some deadly saxophone solos. The band seemed to lack enthusiasm towards the beginning of their set. They had a little bit of trouble with the sound board at one point, but once that was cleared up, the show

was back on. Toneron’s frontman, Gísli Brynjarsson, really found his footing when he started playing up-beat dance tracks like “Life” towards the end of the set. The real star of the show is Brynjarsson’s lungs. His ability to sing, play the saxophone, sing again and play another saxophone solo every song is to be admired. In spite of the saxophone, having had a short set that started off slow made this Airwaves performance just O.K.

DAD ROCKS! @ GAUKURINN:

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Dad Rocks! is the solo project of Iceland-born musician Snævar Njáll Albertsson. The band is a mixture of folk and indie pop music. Their show at Gaukurinn last night was incredible to watch. The stage at Gaukurinn is small, but the 6-man band made the most of it. There were members playing drums, violin, guitar, bass and trumpet that filled up every corner of the stage, moving around each other with ease despite the crowded space. The band had amazing chemistry as well. They joked with one another between songs and Albertsson bantered with the crowd. Dad Rocks!’ songs had an indie-folk style with comically truthful lyrics. Their lyrical comedy transfers over into their onstage banter; they even threw in a clever dad joke in between songs.

ARIEL PINK @ HARPA SILFURBERG

At Harpa Silfurgerg last night at a very late 1 AM, Ariel Pink put on an incredibly unique performance. When he performed his first song, it appeared as though the show was going to be a disaster. Ariel Pink was mumbling what seemed like nonsense into the microphone, the band sounded like they were all playing a different track and strobe lights made it impossible to see anything. But as the show went on, what initially came off as chaos started to make sense. This psychedelic-pop act went from sounding like a classic rock band, to electro-pop to funk all in one song, but somehow it really worked. Ariel Pink kept it light and silly between songs, joking with his bandmates or making a sarcastic comment about the show. The bright, hallucinatory light show really complimented the music. A show that started off as what appeared to be a mess, it ended up being a feel-good, late night party. Ariel Pink has clearly spent some time perfecting his art and it shows in the organized, high-energy chaos that is his live show.

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