Iceland Airwaves 2016 Live Review (11/2): Teitur Magnússon, Snorri Helgason, Tilbury

Teitur Magnússon at NASA 9:40

By appearance and posture, Teitur Magnússon appeared to be awkward and standoffish. Luckily his music had the opposite effect–warm and inviting. Though somewhat emotionless in his face, Magnússon mainly expressed himself with hand gestures and other little quirks–all still awkward but in a fun, entertaining way. During his song “Vinur Vina Minna,” he broke out of his barrier and welcomed the audience in to join along, stepping at the edge of the stage, holding out his mic for the front row to sing along.

The energy never truly died on stage, but at moments it shifted around. Not including Magnússon, there were 10 people on stage, sometimes 11, creating a dreamy folk/indie sound. Though everyone stayed in their spot–they really didn’t have room to move–some band members rocked out, head banging along or swaying with the beat. For such a large band, their best feat was staying in time with each other making each song sound seemless, almost as if listening to the recorded versions.


Snorri Helgason @NASA 10:30

Snorri Helgason is a traditional folk artist from Iceland. Though his songs all sound kind of similar, his talent and is apparent and his music relaxing and soothing. His music is fit for a rainy day, or just lounging around. His music brings the essence and thought of nature–whether it be rain, sunshine, or sparrows chirping. He evokes a sense of Iceland, capturing it forever in each stroke of his acoustic guitar.

Accompanied by seven other musicians, Helgason’s sound was well rounded out, however sometimes certain instruments overpowered others. The trombone could barely be heard in the first half of the set, and sometimes when Helgason sang higher notes, they also would not be as easy to hear.

Sound challenges aside, Helgason put on a nice show that intrigued the crowd, making people smile and dance and sing along. Most of the songs were in Icelandic, but some were performed in English, including “Summer is Almost Gone.” The lighting started out orange, making the appearance of the sun as the song began and drawing in the crowd.


Tilbury @NASA 11:20

Tilbury mixes many different sounds into one—including slow indie rock, dark electronica, and rock ‘n’ roll. Their music is intriguing and keeps the listener guessing as to what is coming up next, or even what is coming in the next chorus (if there is one).

Tilbury’s stage presence felt pretty comfortable, but that they were so close to breaking the next energy level, but just couldn’t get themselves there. Lead singer Þormóður Dagsson often closed his eyes while singing, putting much emotion into every verse. At the end of the set he addressed the audience saying, “You are great people. We are happy.”


Tilbury ended with their darkest and most ominous song. It started with a slow intro of brooding bassline and Halloween-style spooky keys. This was a perfect way to close out their set, giving the audience a taste of what they are really capable of—piercing music that electrifies and captivates.



About Erin Brown

Columbia College Chicago multimedia photojournalism major. Photo editor at the Columbia Chronicle. Concert photographer for Music Existence and former contributing writer for Atwood Magazine.
This entry was posted in Iceland Airwaves, Iceland Airwaves 2016, Live Review and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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