I idolised these bands as a teenager and in my early twenties. Back then I was the only one in my circle of friends who liked the Pixies and I’ve always been grateful to Korn for putting metal-esque music back into the mainstream. I never thought that those bands would consider the possibility of coming here but they did – finally.
Both the Pixies and Korn had really obscure experimental-noise bands as a warm up number. The Icelandic group Ghost Digital opening the Pixies show were fantastic, with brilliant sound engineering from the noise artist Curver and Einar Örns´ (former Sugarcubes member) cataclysmic shout outs. Mike Patton’s (from Faith No More) pet project, Phantomace, came with Korn and played, what I would like to call, mind-fuck n’ roll. It was a mix of death-metal, hard-core and noise music which was fun to experience. Still, somehow I had the feeling that it would have been more interesting to see them in a smaller venue.
The headlining performances were not as entertaining. Both the Pixies and Korn made it too obvious that they were on the job. It was as if they had just clocked in to play their songs and they wanted it over and done with fast. I had heard that the Pixies always used to be quite immobile on stage but I didn’t expect them to never address the audience nor did I expect them to play their songs in the exact same versions as on their albums. Korns´ performances weren’t as dead as Pixies but the lead singer, Jonathan Davis, had the annoying habit of disappearing from the stage in between songs. I know he has to breath in oxygen during a show but is it that urgent to do it after every single song? He isn’t moving that much.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved seeing those bands. And maybe I shouldn’t be bitching about their stage performances while I should be talking about their music, which was, of course, brilliant. Neither of the bands made any obvious mistakes playing their instruments (so you didn´t get your money back? -ed.) and both played all my favourite songs. Regarding their music and the sound on the concerts I have nothing to complain about. It’s just when I pay to see a show like that, I want to experience something more than what I can get from listening to their albums. It’s just not enough to see the musicians play the music you’ve already heard. I want to see them put on some kind of a show to go with the music.
The summer isn’t over yet. More bands are coming; some old, some new. Some bad, some good. We, the inhabitants of Iceland, can only hope that the rest haven’t yet passed their prime.