Iceland’s third ATP festival started off well. My tardiness getting on site meant I missed Deafheaven and The Bug, acts that my friends assured me had gone off great—but I did catch three giants: Public Enemy, Iggy Pop and Belle & Sebastian. The highlight of my evening, however, was what was happening in Andrews Theatre, but more on that later.
Everybody knows Public Enemy. They’ve been performing for more than three decades, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, and are just about to release their fifteenth studio album. I stood next to a friend of mine who confessed her father had introduced her to the band when she was an early teen, turning her into a fan. Now she was here with her father, watching them perform, and no power in the universe could hide how happy she was to hear her favourites from all over their career. I, on the other hand, was more impressed with the aesthetic they presented, which was one of resistance. At the end of their set, they hammered the point in, saying “fuck racism, fuck separatism,” and got the crowd to raise their fists in solidarity. Respect.
The next big act to take the stage was Iggy Pop, and he dove straight into the more memorable Stooges hits like I Wanna Be Your Dog, The Passenger, Lust For Life, and more. Impressively, despite the 68-year-old saying he was “three old,” he had more zest for life than most people a third of his age. Everything he did was in celebration of life, of love, and it was larger than life. It was great.
— Reykjavík Grapevine (@rvkgrapevine) July 2, 2015
The third and last super big band was Belle & Sebastian, who melted people’s hearts with their brand of folky indie pop. As the band danced joyfully on stage, a video played behind them, full of colourful imagery, and the crowd responded by swooning to the music, couples embracing and looking blissful.
These three were brilliant in their own way, but for me the real fun was to be found at Andrews Theatre, with Vision Fortune and Mr. Silla. The small seated venue was very atmospheric, only the stage lit up, all attention focused on the performer.
Vision Fortune’s visual aesthetic felt like a metaphor for the music, with white strobe lights flashing intermittently to light up the duo performing their haunting post-modern experimental noise music. It left me feeling spaced out, introspective, and weirdly enough, content.
Photos by Kane Alexander, check out more of his works on his website.
Mr. Silla’s music and aesthetic also chimed well together, with darkness, heartbreak and sombre sensations all being brought fourth by the dim stage lights and in singer Sigurlaug Gísladóttir’s voice. Lines like “all I want to do is feel your touch and see you blush” felt like they were pulled straight out of a David Lynch film.
— Reykjavík Grapevine (@rvkgrapevine) July 3, 2015
I left that venue feeling touched and inspired. I stepped in to see a few songs by Run The Jewels, but their music didn’t click with me. I knew a lot of people were psyched to see them perform, but I wasn’t one of them.
More from the GV’s ATP coverage
Trip provided by Reykjavík Excursions.