Iceland Airwaves Day Three (11/6) Arstidir, Hjaltalín, Perfume Genius (REVIEW)

IMG_1994ccc   IMG_1965cccIMG_1975ccc


Self-described as classically influenced indie-folk rock, Arstidir was intense in the best way possible. The violinist Karl James Pestka along with a cellist, who is unnamed due to Arstidir currently hiring a new one for live shows, were the backbone of the show and one of the reasons the music was so intense was because of those two talents. Gunnar Már Jakobsson opened the show with his soft rich vocals and his passion showed through every word of his lyrics and strum of his baritone guitar. About two songs in, the microphones

stopped working. In response Jakobsson and Pestka immediately built a joking rapport with the crowd that got a few laughs. After around 30 seconds of technical issues, Arstidir decided to sing a capella and harmonically like they did in the YouTube video that got them famous. They handled the technical issues so smoothly, then continued without a hitch. They also are working with a new drummer to add a different sound to their music, which shows their creativity and it worked for them tonight. Pestka stood up to sing a song on his own plucking his violin softly, slowly the rest of the group joined in. If Arstidir is good at anything, though they are talented in many ways, it is they know how to build up their music for the crowd. They also harmonized fantastically. This showed when Jakobsson would be singing his own verse, then the others would be singing another part, it flowed wonderfully and then the lyrics met at a same spot and then the intensity rose.  Afterwards, Pestka thanked the crowd for coming out on such an early night, and his modesty and humbleness was apparent. Arstidir is a group of great individual talent that harmonizes as one great show when all together.

IMG_2003ccc IMG_2008ccc


Their dark stage-lightingfor the first song gave them an eerie edge, with a pounding bass that one could feel in their soul. Vocalist Sigríður Thorlacius started the first song with his own unique sound and barely any lighting on the group, added with the heavy bass and synth-pop sounds behind him, made the crowd silent. In another song, the female vocalist from another band called Geislar , which Thorlacius is also apart of, started her song with a synth-rock background, and her voice was creepy in a soft-spoken tone as the lights creeped up on the set. As she normally does not sing with this band, her sound during each of the new songs that Hjaltalin had not yet performed live, presented a new vibe that they might not have known they needed. The usage of Viktor Orri Árnason on violin and Axel Haraldsson drums, tagged along with the loud bass created such a deep intense sound it dragged passerby’s in from outside Silfurberg. This soon made the room packed from brim to brim. The female vocalist’s high pitches contrasted with the low hard bass, and this contrast made them sound even more unique. With influences like modern indie-rock to 60’s pop music, Hjaltalin’s sound is one it has created on its own. Because of that, with the added extremely talented female vocalist, made them a band to be reckoned with and it’s not surprising that they have such a large following.

IMG_2084ccc IMG_2074ccc IMG_2047ccc

Perfume Genius

Perfume Genius struck a dramatic tone as operatic music filled the room. Maybe you could say This was followed by his musicians as they went on the stage, yet he dragged out the moment and came onto the stage as soon as the final note of the climatic music ended. At first, the music was louder than he was, which made it kind of hard to hear his lyrics  but soon found out when he spoke between songs that he was simply soft-spoken in his own way. Though in some songs he did like to let out lasting shrieks to add an upsurge of emotion into his music.  Into the second song, it became obvious that Perfume Genius, the stage name of Mike Hadreas, loved to dance and created an incredibly personal and intimate relationship with the mic. He made sure to get as close as he could to the crowd, and proceeded to gyrate against the cord of the mic, while he rubbed the head of the mic on himself, as often as possible. He did have a backtrack on some songs, but he did tear off his ear piece and with no other assistance began to sing and play the piano exquisitely. Overall, he was eventful to watch and listen to, just don’t stand too close to the speakers without earbuds!

This entry was posted in Daily Blog, Iceland Airwaves, Iceland Airwaves 2015, Live Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s