Iceland Airwaves Live Review (11/5): Tofa, Rythmatik, FM Belfast

Tófa @ Gaukurinn 8:00 p.m.

Tófa means the blue fox in Icelandic, and they’re a female-fronted band from Iceland who label their music as experimental punk. They released their second LP Teeth Richards this October, saying it is “dedicated to those who speak up and fight for more justice and peace in this fucked up world.”

Before they started playing the music, lead singer Allie Doersh put red lipstick on two of her band mates who were wearing shirts that said “Boifri3ndz.” Right after, Tófa began breaking down barriers and sending the crowd into a wild frenzy. People were jumping and screaming–even a small mosh pit was formed. Each song had more energy than the last. During their third song, Doersh started screaming and the crowd went crazy.


Everyone prepared to lose some more when the power on stage cut out. Clearly flustered, the band didn’t quite know what to do. The crowd began chanting for a drum solo and Jóhannes Ólafsson greatly obliged. Still without power, Doersh began telling the crowd about themselves and showing off merch. She then led the entire crowd in a yoga lesson.

Right after yoga finished and the power was back on, they jumped right back into their set. The energy was down for the first song after the long break without power, but as the crowd cheered more the band’s spirits lifted.

Everyone was giving the show their all, despite the difficulties. The band were ready to play one last song but were cut off for the next band to start setting up. As Tófa was leaving the stage people in the audience assured them they did amazing, which is nothing short of true.

Rythmatik @ Gaukurinn 8:50 p.m.

Rythmatik is an indie-rock band that can cover the spectrum from soothing songs to heavy upbeat tunes.

Guitar riffs are a huge part of their sound as band. The bass player, Pétur Óli Thorvaldsson, who was the only one without a mic in front of him, jumped and swung around all set which sometimes made him the center of attention. Lead singer Hrafnkell Hugi Vernhardsson’s vocals were often hard to hear over the three guitars and drum playing. That didn’t stop anyone from rocking along, especially to the band’s hit song “Sleepyhead.” The almost six-minute song kept the surprises coming. The band slowed down and almost paused, then started right back up again causing a loud roar in the crowd.


An audience member had given the band glow in the dark necklaces and rings which the band wore (and rocked). This little addition of the glow in the dark and flashing jewelry made the band even that more fun to watch.

FM Belfast @ Harpa Silfurberg 1:00 a.m.

FM Belfast celebrated their 10th anniversary playing Iceland Airwaves on November 5. They said their first show was in the upstairs of a small bar—and now they are packing the entire room of Harpa Silfurberg. They put on an indie pop show that literally made the floor shake.

The band opened with their song “You’re So Pretty” from their 2008 LP How to Make Friends. From the very first second of the opening song to the last second of the encore, FM Belfast kept an electric course of energy moving throughout the venue. The seven-person band kept jumping, dancing, twirling and swirling all over the stage. They had rolls of streamers they would throw in the audience and across the stage. Singer Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason tangled himself up in the streamers performed multiple songs covered in them. Later on in the show he came out on stage with a Lükinbetta beer costume on.

Seeing this band live was as much of a workout as it is a concert. The band’s high-octane energy was mimicked by most everyone in the crowd. When they jumped, the crowd jumped. When they told the crowd to sit down, the crowd sat down and waited for the beat to drop to start jumping again.

Additional embellishments during the show included tassel capes that were brought out for the members to wear, and one giant conglomerate of different colored tassels and fabrics that singer Lóa Hlín Hjálmtýsdóttir swooped around in.


It’s clear that FM Belfast are veterans to making people get off their feet and dance. When the time of their set ended (2:00 a.m.) they decided to go for 10 more minutes to honor their 10th anniversary. This last 10 minutes consisted of a medley of songs “Underwear,” “Don’t Want to Sleep” and covers of songs including “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses, “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)” by the Beastie Boys and “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine.

FM Belfast’s weird and fun style makes them unique, engaging, and a solidified band to put a smile on anyone’s face (and give them a fun way to work out).


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 Daily Blog, Iceland Airwaves, Iceland Airwaves 2016, Live Review and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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