Pondering this question got me thinking hard about all my favourite concert experiences in Reykjavík through the years—and surprisingly enough, I found that most of them had taken place in the city’s churches. I think the fact that Reykjavík’s churches are so open to hosting pop and rock concerts is pretty unique; it made me think that since we’re not really that Christian, our churches should just be turned into concert venues. Jóhann Jóhannsson at Hallgrímskirkja or Sufjan Stevens, Wildbirds & Peacedrums or Hjaltalín at Fríkirkjan—those were some of the best shows I’ve witnessed and definitely some memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Thus I have to recommend that if people have the chance to catch a concert in a church, for instance at Fríkirkjan, while in Reykjavík, they take it. Even though you don’t necessarily know the musician. You can be pleasantly surprised.
Of course, visiting some of the city’s many bars and clubs for concerts can be a great experience too. My personal favourite is Rósenberg. It has a cosy environment, not unlike being in someone’s living room, and they have shows every night ensuring that most people can find something that appeal to their tastes. They also serve dinner, so you can have a complete night out there for that matter.