Belgian outfit Girls In Hawaii ran a very tight ship in the packed Iðnó, regularly engaging with the crowd and getting them to swoon from side to side. During their performance, the indie-rock band showed that they had a multifaceted and well-developed sound.
Coldplay-influenced intros would fade away to synth-heavy segments with calm and poppy bits followed up with high-octane Muse-like rock songs. The band was full of pleasant surprises and left many asking for an encore, despite having gone over their time limit.
The Norwegian/Mexican Carmen Villain may not have had the same pull as Girls In Hawaii, but her intimate show drew the attendees up to the stage. She alternated between soft whispers and brilliant dreamy feedback-heavy instrumentals that drowned out everything else in the venue.
Half the time I didn’t know if she’s singing in English, Norwegian or Spanish, but it was not important as her seductive tempo and melancholic vibe held my attention. At the end of her pleasant set, the crowd looked emotionally drained and went out for a deserved breath of fresh air.
Finishing the night was Pétur Ben who possesses exactly the kind of cute Elf-Icelandic accent so beloved by Promote Iceland. The half empty room suddenly filled up as Pétur Ben and his supporting band played a series of indie songs from Pétur’s second album, ‘God’s Lonely Man.’ Pétur connected well with the crowd, fully introducing his band after quirkily saying: “we are all Pétur Ben, or at least mostly so.”
Having recently composed the music to Icelandic drama Málmhaus (“Metalhead”), Pétur’s three new songs were decidedly heavier, with lyrics about plucking your brother’s eyes out and feeding them to the pigs. The crowd seemed caught off guard and unsure how to react during the dark and hatred-filled songs, but if their cheers afterwards were any indication, they were not displeased.
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