From Iceland — Who's At Iceland Airwaves? My Impressions Of You Guys!

Who’s At Iceland Airwaves? My Impressions Of You Guys!

Published November 5, 2015

Rebecca Conway
Photo by
Sigurður Ástgeirsson

Watching the audience has always been a huge part of my Airwaves experience. You can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she reacts to music, which is why, during concerts, I often find my gaze sliding from the performers to the person next to me. For my first Iceland Airwaves report, I decided to turn my gaze to you, random audience member, in a gesture of supreme appreciation for everything you add to the Airwaves scene.

At the various shows I attended during Airwaves’s first official night, I picked one person to glance at every now and then. I recorded my ‘first’ and ‘second’ impressions of them, because it’s fun to see how people (and my perceptions of them) change throughout a show. So many people are coming and going during the festival that it’s nice to briefly freeze frame those who make Airwaves what it is.

Here are some impressions of just a few of those people.

Audience member #1: during Vaginaboys at Húrra

First Impression: Short bearded boy dances by slowly bending his knees. He holds his beer like a candle and sings the wrong words to the first four songs.

Second Impression: He knows all the words to ‘Elskan af því bara’. I admire the gusto with which he sings them.

Audience member #2: during GKR at Húrra

First Impression: Dark-haired girl in her early twenties spills a can of beer on the ‘Please Do Not Bring Drinks Onstage’ sign, asks me to “lick it up.”

Second Impression: GKR tosses a small box of Corn Pops (or was it Corn Flakes?) into the audience. It strikes her in the head. She visibly swoons.

Audience member #3: during Sturla Atlas at Húrra

First Impression: Tall, bespectacled boy thrusts his hips and pumps his arms in time to the music

Second Impression: The show ends, and he realizes there is a two-foot radius around him. He hangs his head ever so slightly.

Audience member #4: during Reykjavíkurdætur at NASA

First (Re)Impression: Dark-haired girl from GKR reappears – an enduring friendship, perhaps? Either way, I realize second chances really do exist.

Second (Re)Impression: She lightly strokes the back of a security guard who had asked her not to stand in the photo pit.

Audience member #5: during Árstíðir at Harpa

First Impression: Man in beanie stands with his arm draped over his head.

Second Impression: The bright lights wash from band to audience. He has a faint pit stain. He clenches his fist at almost every hook.

Audience member #6: during Gísli Pálmi at NASA

First Impression: Short American boy with a koozie on his beer offers everyone around him a swig of Brennivín. He HAS to see what Icelandic rap is all about.

Second Impression: He grinds on the girl in front of him. She moves to the side. He remains unconcerned.

Audience member #7: during Retro Stefson at NASA

First Impression: The band orders us to face each other for a collective dance-off. Girl on the other side has long red hair. She gets some of it in her mouth as she hops up and down.

Second Impression: Tangle of pale arms, flash of red. I lose sight when someone steps on my foot.

In closing, sincerest thanks for being my friends for a night, random audience members. Please know that any and all judging I do is filled with nothing but love for all these drunken antics, all these sober quirks.

Hope to see you infallibly cool kids again tonight.

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