It was a bizarre scene, as the jacket-clad thirty-somethings began strutting onto the standing room floor of NASA with a beer in one hand and their badly dressed up girlfriends on the other. I wasn’t sure which stereotype was more hateable, the businessmen pretending to have an interest in ‘hip young people music’ by securing a pair of the most hard-to-get tickets of the summer, or the too-cool-forschool punks spilling the beers they were too young to buy. Either way, I suppose neither type was in the majority. They just happened to be bumping into each other. The social commentary was writing itself.
Jakóbínarína were gracing the stage looking just as young and exploited as we’d all imagined, but had kicked off their set with an undeniable and consuming energy, fuelled perhaps by a seeming enjoyment of the music they were making. Their apathetic and dopedup- looking faces soon got the better of them, however, as their set slowly dwindled into a well-rehearsed but tragically unconvincing bout of angsty noise. Tragic, because the band has obvious talent, which, I fear, will soon go to waste when they actually become too cool for school… the point at which you actually stop going to school, and are forced to ask yourself: why are you fucking making music if you pretend to hate it so much?
When Franz Ferdinand finally took the stage, casually dressed in a way that I think no one expected of such a glitzed-up name, two years of anticipation and expectations bubbled to the surface of everyone’s mind in the sold-out venue. They kicked off with Cheating On You, a song off of their premier album, but seemed to have a hesitant, nervous glint in their eyes. Every other song that followed was a newbie, a fresh Ferdinand being tested out on Reykjavík before being taken into the studio, interwoven with the golden oldies, Michael, Matiné, Walk Away and then the show’s pinnacle with Take Me Out, where at one moment the hundreds of people crowding NASA were all jumping simultaneously. At ten songs in, the band was still sizzling on stage, and at the start of Darts of Pleasure, someone actually threw a black lacy bra at singer Alex’s face. As if that wasn’t enough, the bra then fell off his face and slipped perfectly onto the microphone, where it hung by one strap for the rest of the song.
At the end of the night a hearty encore followed. The two most clichéd names in Icelanders’ recent music memory had just informally duked-it-out on stage, and who would have thought that it would be the boys in Ferdinand who proved that they were something worth hyping about.
The two-person mosh-pit gyrating to Jakobínarína’s Jesus was spilling beer onto the crowd. It wasn’t their beer, they definitely didn’t look old enough to buy, but the man in the crisp grey suit with freshly groomed hair and an even fresher beer in his hand had a strangely bemused smile on his face as for the third time the two pubescent boys slammed their sweaty bodies into his side. The beer splattered again over the dense crowd.