From Iceland — Alexander's Thursday Night Iceland Airwaves Diary: Wardrobe Malfunctions & Neon Wigs

Alexander’s Thursday Night Iceland Airwaves Diary: Wardrobe Malfunctions & Neon Wigs

Published November 3, 2023

Photo by
Joana Fontinha
Hafsteinn Snær Þorsteinsson
Alexander Le Sage de Fontenay

Day 2 came and went! For me, night was somehow backwards. It feels like I had to pee all the time, the weather was cold, I had a wardrobe malfunction at one point and I was late for every concert on my agenda. But somehow this was all fine. I met a lot of friends and old acquaintances. An iconic Airwaves Thursday, in my books.

Sunna Margrét performs at Frikirkjan on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, as part of Iceland Airwaves. Photo: Alexander Le Sage de Fontenay

I started off the night with Sunna Margrét’s ethereal presence at Fríkirkjan. I’ve watched her develop as an artist since my high school years and seeing her perform tonight was great. Her singing — especially the last few numbers — went from beautifully melancholic to heroically hopeful. Sunna has the voice of angel, which intermingled interestingly with her bandmates’ jangly guitar and drum beats. Her performance received a thoughtful audience, entranced by what they heard and saw in Reykjavík’s-maybe-coolest-church.

Photo: Axel Sigurðarson

Next up was Músíktilraunir winners Fókus. I thought I was going to Dillon — a bar on Laugavegur — next for some reason but I was supposed to go to Gaukurinn. I just made it inside to hear them play their encore song. They appear to have a big fan-base since Gaukurinn was packed and the audience went pretty wild.

After this, I decided to take a slight detour and went next door to the newly opened RADAR club. The space that previously housed Húrra, Harlem and Bakkus. All good bars/clubs that have had a special role in my life. I’m excited to see RADAR do it’s thing—their focus is on creating a proper club environment for the dance music aficionados, dancers and the nightclubbing crowd. They did NOT “jazz up the place” but rather painted it black and worked on the fundamental elements: the dancefloor, the lights and the sound. They have their grand-opening weekend I I’m sure I will be back soon.

I went to see Monikaze at KEX Hostel next. She provided a steady program of upbeat dance music, performed in worker’s overalls and two stepping to every beat which gave the performance an industrial edge. The sound was blaring, bubbly and somehow maximal and the crowd was jumping.

Monikaze performs at KEX on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, as part of Iceland Airwaves. Photo: Alexander Le Sage de Fontenay

After this, I sought refuge in Bíó Paradís — the local art-house cinema and chill-out sweet spot on Hverfisgata. They had the most cozy atmosphere and I had a beer there. I love Bíó Paradís and I am in love with Bíó Paradís. Hey, Iceland Airwaves! Could you collaborate with Bíó Paradís next year with an extravagant music-related film program? That would be great. Bíó Paradís, Bíó Paradís, Bíó Paradís.

Gamla Bíó had Gugusar playing in neon yellow wig and black sunglasses which made her look like a psychedelic Mia Wallace. I’ve never been able to catch her live and I am so happy I finally did. She has the best dance moves which keeps the crowd entertained and inspired. Her music is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster but overall it made me feel good. Gamla Bíó is a terrific gem-of-a-concert-venue in downtown Reykjavík.

On my way home I saw that DJ Seksy Lazer was playing at Kaffibarinn, so I enjoyed the last few songs of his set there. See you tomorrow, Airwaves!

Follow along with our Iceland Airwaves 2023 coverage right here.

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