Iceland Airwaves Live Review (11/5): Krakk and Spaghetti, Alexander Jarl, and Silvana Imam


Krakk & Spaghetti formed a year ago after joining a competition to write Iceland’s worst song. After coming in second place, they decided they couldn’t be that bad so maybe they should start a rap group for real. Ever since then, they have not lost their quirky, unapologetic charm. Tonight, they performed their most popular song “Bongo” as well as several other favorites. Even though the crowd was small and relatively unresponsive, Krakk & Spaghetti did not lose their energy. Margrét Aðalheiður never stopped moving. She even performed an entire workout on stage (jumping jacks included). As a tribute to their namesake, the band threw out tiny plastic bags of spaghetti with a skull on the front. The bags perfectly described their performance. As they screamed about “A tragic thing that happened in Iceland, when they stopped selling Fresca in stores,” the performance became quirky and sweet yet somehow also agressive. 


Alexander Jarl began producing trap music with the “JARL $QUAD” a year ago. The squad features Jarl and his producer Helgi Ársæll along with a collective of DJs, videographers and designers who all produce Jarl’s music. Tonight Alexander Jarl took the stage at Valshöllin to perform several of their songs including his breakout single “Halelúja.” Committing to the song, Jarl got down on his knees, folded his hands, and looked to the sky as though he were going to pray. The audience was fully involved in Jarl’s performance, and he loved interacting with them. He stopped in the middle of a song to give one guy a high five when the guy began calling Jarl’s name. Then he finished the show by forming a mosh pit and getting down in it to dance with the audience. It was a powerful performance that was received more than well by the room full of teenagers and college students who came to party.


Silvana Imam is a Swedish rapper from the hip-hop collective RMH. She brought two members of the collective, Erik Lundin and Adam Tensta, on stage with her tonight to sing a few songs. Even before the minute Imam stepped on the stage, it was clear this wasn’t an ordinary concert. The show began with Imam’s voice reciting poetry while the stage was pitch black. As the lights faded up, they revealed Imam standing in angel wings, waiting for the fog to fade. She changed outfits two times during the 40 minute set. The first time, she changed from the angel wings to a business-like pantsuit. The second and last time, she changed into a large, red jersey that was clearly too big on her, but she wore it anyway. Still, the most interesting part of the show wasn’t the singing or the costume changes. It was the light show. There were constantly strobe lights moving, and the stage would not stop changing colors. The lights flashed so much that a person could have gone blind from watching this show. The audience seemed to eat the lights up, but it could have been more effective if Imam had controlled the amount of light on her stage better.

About Erika June Smith

Hey all! My name is Erika Smith, and I enjoy art exhibits and feminism. I'm studying television writing/producing at Columbia College Chicago, and I have an internship with The Whitney Reynolds Show on PBS. Do you need a birthday cake that you'll never forget? I'm also a level one Wilton cake decorator, and I've been known to create cakes that vaguely resemble Van Gogh paintings. Top that, Buddy Valastro.
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