With Faktorý being torn down to make room for another downtown hotel, we had to go check out one of its last shows on July 26. Playing were Benny Crespo’s Gang, Agent Fresco and Mammút. To get a good spot by the stage, I arrived a good five minutes before the show was advertised to start. Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea, and I ended up having to wait for a while in the queue.
Once Benny Crespo’s Gang started playing, the crowd quickly whipped into shape and started dancing. Listening to the band, their sound was brilliantly composed and unmistakeably Icelandic (doubly so once the singers started singing). The bass and keys in particular harmonized beautifully, but sometimes the guitar felt out of place. The crowd mellowed out over time, embracing BCG’s dreamy and far away vibe.
Agent Fresco kicked out the jams right from the get-go, and played their signature bittersweet sound. Pumping out tunes flirting with raw genius, they alternated between inciting head banging sessions, and getting everyone to join in the melodic choruses. In their usual fashion, they mixed heavy instrumentals, solid drums and lyrics that ranged from poppy to heavy metal banshee howls. At one point a mosh pit erupted, but it gained critical mass at a sad three participants, dying down quickly thereafter. The tightly packed crowd was left exhausted after the high octane band’s set, and many headed out for some much needed fresh air before the final band took stage.
Having never seen Mammút perform live before, I was absolutely blown away by their performance. With their chilled electronic sound, and touching vocals, I quickly fell into a deep trance. My friends tried chatting with me between songs, but I wouldn’t have any of it, absolutely enthralled under Mammút’s spell. They ended their set with the haunting “Salt,” a song with an introspective and incredibly sad tone. Its lyrics of being “put on salt” and preserved felt eerily appropriate to the closing of Faktorý. Although the building will go away, its memories will be preserved, and the few remaining nights are not a goodbye, but a celebration of all that has been.
There are still more upcoming concerts at Faktorý, including a free concert on Saturday, August 10. This will be your last chance to pay tributes, unless you are lucky enough to have tickets to the GusGus show on Sunday.
Surely, You Can’t Be Serious