Iceland Airwaves 2016 Live Review (11/4): Axel Flovent, Ambatt, Shades of Reykjavik

Axel Flóvent 

Axel Flóvent‘s soft melodies are somewhat of Mumford and Sons, the same calming yet stimulating lyrics and melodic instruments. Today he played at Gamla Bíimg_8227o at 9:40 PM. The modern folk artists caught the audience’s attention as his soft vocals matched his calm but simple stage presence. He and his band started off the set with an acoustic track with little live instruments and only his DJ board, then they moved onto the full band. His back up singer fit with him well; their harmonies locked every time. His music enticed slow swaying back and forth, but kept the energy there. Most of his songs were love songs, where he captured people from all ages at this show. Flóvent is talented to say the least. The band stayed together, his vocals killed it, and he got the audience a little emotional. He finished the show with his new single “Ghost.” He is a great addition to Airwaves this year.


Ambátt has been involved in the Icelandic music scene for years. This duo has been mosimg_8232t recently involved in the experimental music scene. Ambátt played at Harpa Kaldalón at 10:30 tonight. Black and white images of natural environments in Iceland played in the background. Without words, Ambátt brought the listener outside their minds into the music. They brought in live instruments for the next song, which amped up the energy: a trumpet, bass guitar, electric guitar and a drama alongside the DJ board. The trumpet added a little jazz to the song on top of heavy bass and synthesizer. It created a great sound. The second song was groovy and almost danceable. On the third song the electric guitar took control, jamming over the fun beat. Most of the songs played cannot be found online, which makes it that much more of a special performance. This was a show for those looking for peace and thoughtfulness.

Shades of Reykjavík

img_8242The group Shades of Rekjavík took rap to a whole other level. They played at Húrra at 2:50 AM. With their dark beats and spacey melodies, Shades of Reykjavík is perfect for the underground party. The rap group started the show with everyone wearing masks and making bird noises as they filled the stage. The venue was packed full of young concertgoers, which got pretty intense. They all formed a mosh pit as Shades jumped up and down the stage, rapping in Icelandic. The intense beats rattled Húrra as the concert went on, getting rowdier and rowdier. People were being pushed left and right, but that only seemed to intensify the energy. Shades got the audience pumped and jumping at their late night show. The sound in the venue filled each corner, making it difficult for others on the street to not stop in. They ended with their single “Drusla” featured on their 2015 album. For those looking for a crazy, high energy party with a lot of shoving, Shades of Reykjavík is worth stopping in for.

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