Iceland Airwaves 2017 Daily Blog (11/6): Beginnings/Endings

It was Saturday night in busy Reykjaviík, Iceland. It was well into Iceland Airwaves, so there were people everywhere, crowding venues and dancing. Local post-rock elemental favorite Mammút had just finished their electrifying set at Gambla Bió. I went to get my jacket from the (free) coat check and could not find it. Because of all the people, when I arrived earlier there was no room to hang it up so I tucked it underneath on the floor. When I could not find it after the show, I assumed the worst: That someone had taken it, as would likely happen in Chicago.

Gullfoss waterfall in Southern Iceland.

But then I took a closer look. It was hanging on the edge with all the other coats. Someone had picked it up from its hiding spot and found a place to hang it on the rack! Gratitude and generosity spilled over me like the Iceland waterfall Gullfoss—strong and beautiful—further bolstering the genuine community of Reykjavík I felt when I had arrived seven days ago.

It wouldn’t have been this way in Chicago. It wouldn’t have been like this in any other place. The experience of Airwaves and Reykjaviík was such an arduous yet astonishingly utopian experience—utopian because it felt as if we just plopped into this quaint Northern city when it was at its best. Encompassed by an excited, open community of locals and tourists who treated us as their own, writing about one of my biggest loves and connecting with Iceland’s nature has me teetering in disbelief on the idyllic experience. It wasn’t just a vacation or all business; it wasn’t reality, either, and that’s the beauty of it. Everyone there experienced something different but we shared the music connection and made lasting relationships with locals and musicians that prompt me to say the most cliché phrase ever: It’s not the end, Iceland; I will be back.

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Iceland Airwaves 2017 Daily Blog (11/6): The Final Chapter

The people of Iceland would always mention how this country has this magical quality about it and that one would experience moments quite like no other. Upon arriving we were all filled with exhaustion and excitement and couldn’t believe the fact that after weeks of preparation we had finally arrived. Everything started very quickly: in one day we tasted our first Icelandic hot dog, our professor Althea Legaspi familiarized us with the town of Reykjavik, we learned about the tourism within Iceland and got to try out the hot springs, which I have to point out was extremely relaxing and muy caliente (very hot). We ended the night at a tapas bar where we had the opportunity to try out some exotic cuisine, which was at times delicious, but my favorite was definitely their seafood.

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Iceland Airwaves 2017 Daily Blog Day Seven (11/6): The Bittersweet End

Wow. I am sitting in my hotel lobby pondering how to put my experience into words. As I look out the glass doors I see a Smoky Bay, Reykavík – it won’t be the last time.

Amazing music. Amazing people. Amazing city. It’s hard to grasp the totality of everything I experienced. I’m still delusional from lack of sleep and not properly taking care of my body, but I couldn’t be happier. This post is a reflection of my past week.

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Iceland Airwaves 2017 Daily Blog (11/6): My Final Reflection

Sitting on the cold floor of the Keflavik Airport, I am waiting for my departure flight that will take me back home to Chicago. There are of course a lot of important people to see and important things to do back home, but I find myself yearning to return to my little twin bed at my hotel in Reykjavík. The people and places in Iceland are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Pastel rooftops sprinkle color around the city, while friends in Iceland laugh, drink and create art together. Everything in Iceland is like a perfect snow-globe town, and if it were up to me, I’d be here forever. But for now, I have pleasant memories to guide me through the experience all over again.

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Iceland Airwaves 2017 Live Review (11/04): Sóley, TORRES, MAMMÚT

Sóley crowded the small church and sang acoustic songs behind her band.

Sóley @ Fríkirkjan

Sóley so-old out the Fríkirkjan church. The line was down the street and inside, most could not see as the local soul vocalist sang her new music to her best fans: the locals. Those who could not see the show imagined it in their heads—people were staring into space, letting the music take over their mind and feeling the music mentally and emotionally.

Sóley’s child-like voice—which works well with her instruments—balanced out the music and created a feeling of being on the ocean in warmer weather than it is here now. She explored different ranges, physically and vocally. The last song had her down in a huddle for a bit, growing as the music did.

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Iceland Airwaves 2017 Live Review (11/4): Kelly Lee Owens, TRPTYCH, Exos

Kelly Lee Owens @ Húrra // 12:30 a.m.

Kelly Lee Owens released her debut album in March 2017. Her abilities as a singer and producer flourished in her debut album as she mixed all of her musical influences into her identity and aesthetic. She moved away from her indie rock past, as a member of the band The History Of Apple Pie, to create dreamy, ambient and touching electronic music.

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Iceland Airwaves 2017 Live Review (11/4) Fufanu, aYia, Daniel OG

Day four of Iceland Airwaves 2017 was a massive success. Bands brought levels of excitement in hip-hop and electronic dance music that had not been seen in previous nights, equating to the most invigorating nights of music yet at the fest.

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