Iceland Airwaves 2016 Live Review (11/4): Minor Victories, FEWS, Boogie Trouble

Minor Victories @ REYKJAVIK ART MUSEUM // 10:50

The UK-based band took the stage at the Reykjavík Art Museum lacking energy.  Throughout the set, their stage performance became livelier, but there was still little movement from anyone on stage aside from head nodding at most points.  Despite this, the crowd was extremely engaged, dancing and often yelling and chanting for the band. These fans may have also known lead singer Rachael Goswell’s more popular band, Slowdive. Minor Victories is an alternative rock group featuring extremely advanced and well performed instrumentals.  The drummer, who happens to not be a permanent member of the band, carried the performance with his piercing cymbals and drumming patterns, which shook the room.  An additional highlight was guitarists James Lockey and Stuart Braithwaite’s intriguing tones and rhythms that created context and emotion for their lyrics.  Besides lacking stage presence, the only other disconnected element of the show was the singer’s mellow vocals that didn’t seem to match the rest of the band’s larger than life sound.  Overall, the members of the band Minor Victories are talented but this performance wasn’t anything mind blowing.

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FEWS @ GAUKURINN // 11:40

The Swedish/American band FEWS came well rested and ready to rock. Constantly moving, the band utilized every inch of the 20 foot stage they had. FEWS is an alternative jam rock band that boarders on being everything from noise rock punk to psychedelic once they introduced a synth for their last two songs. Throughout the band’s entire set, the lead singer never stopped spinning and dancing. This caused his guitar strap to break several times throughout the set, but like an experienced performer, he continued on without a hitch. The band played a new song that introduced experimental guitar distortions that, at a few points, contradicted the flow of the song, but overall enhanced it by creating depth and layers. Overall, the band had an impressive performance from the engaging stage presence to the evocative music.

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Boogie Trouble @ GAUKURINN // 2:40am

Upon taking the stage, Boogie Trouble singer, Klara Arnalds, surveyed the crowd asking, “If I speak in Icelandic, how many of you will have no idea what I am saying?”  Despite nearly half of the audience in the venue raising their hands, Boogie Trouble’s entirely Icelandic performance had everyone off their feet and dancing along.  The six piece, Icelandic groovy pop band has been around since 2011. This was clear by their cohesiveness, yet effortless ability to highlight individual nuances from each performer.  Throughout the show, Boogie Trouble was able to perform live with the same technical quality as their studio record, Í bænum, which made it that much easy for fans to enjoy and immerse themselves in music, positively effecting the spirit of the room. Both the performers and the audience were completely uplifted the entire show, sporting huge smiles, giving hugs and bouncing to the music.  Boogie Troubles’ unique sound featured bongos, a tambourine, keys, two backup singers, a drummer, a guitarist, a bassist, and a lead vocalist. That’s a large group to fit on a small stage like Gaukurinn. Despite having that against them, they still performed an amazing set.

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