Iceland Airwaves 2016 Live Review (11/3): Par-Ðar, Sóley, Hannah Lou Clark

Par-Ðar @ Gaukurinn // 7:50

The five piece, ambient rock group took the stage with sunglasses on and beers in hand. To kick off the show, they began with a song that was over seven minutes long. They used it to demonstrate soothing vocal harmonies by all five men on stage along with elements that were reminiscent of garage rock. Though Par-Ðar was constantly evolving and changing on stage, their set remained fluid. They never forced various elements. Instead, they introduced them at unexpected points in the set, keeping the audience guessing. Unfortunately, the show abruptly came to a close with the band ending a third of their set early. It was quite the disappointment because their live performance until that point had been very strong.

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Soléy @ Mengi // 9

Patrons packed into the small art gallery, leaving a line around the block of fans wishing to get in. When Soléy Stefánsdóttir, referred to as “Soléy,” took the stage, she received a much anticipated, warm welcome. She personably returned that thank you to the crowd throughout the show through her charming comments and humbleness. A majority of her set consisted of songs from her most popular album, We Sink. The audience was extremely attentive and respectful, appreciating every note she gracefully played on the piano. Her movements mimicked that of ballet dancing the way she artfully swayed and danced to her music. Midway through the show, she introduced a cellist, two clarinet players and an accordion musician to accompany her and the rest of the band, drums, bass and back up piano, to perform three brand new songs off her next album, Endless Summer. Endless Summer has been in the making for the last year which she said went by extremely fast. Soléy commented she always gets nervous when playing new music because she never knows how the crowd will react. Her new tracks were consistent to her previous emotional, haunting and enchanting sound so the crowd loved them. Her voice sounded unique and extremely good for having performed another over capacity, early show directly before.

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Hannah Lou Clark @ Gamla Bíó // 10:30

Hannah Lou Clark is a London based rock singer songwriter who reestablished herself as a solo artist after her previous eerie, alternative band FOE split. Her set at Airwaves was supported by a backing band of three other musicians, two of which were women guitarists, making it a female dominated stage. Since Clark is an experienced performer, she was successful in communicating with the crowd. She welcomed them to the show and thanked the audience for coming, but beyond polite small talk, there were very few memorable moments in this set.  The only stand out instance was during her last song, “Silent Type” when she admitted to forgetting the lyrics and restarted the song.  It is interesting how Clark, who was once the leader of such an interesting and innovative band like FOE, managed to lose a lot of the wonder, while still maintaining a similar sound.  The crowd seemed engaged, but from a musical standpoint there was much left to be desired.

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