O.K. let’s go. My Airwaves Friday began at Iðnó which housed a Airwaves x Faroese Islands takeover night. The atmosphere was buzzing and you could hear Faroe Islanders and Icelanders speaking their respective tongues and doing a pretty good job at understanding each other. I caught Marianne Winter’s set which emanated a sweet and mellow energy. She played a few slow and powerful pop bangers that struck a chord with me.
That mellow energy was short lived as next up was Gróa at Gamla Bíó. This is a unique band. Their set was an erratic punk explosion which really woke the crowd up. I believe they arrived on stage on skateboards which is pretty awesome. I couldn’t really make out the lyrics but they sounded nonsensical in a way that fits the music quite well. They wore pastel and neon colored knitwear which gave of a spaced out vibe.
Next up was my favorite show of the night. Neonme played an extremely ethereal set of new songs at the 2nd floor of KEX. I’m a big fan of Salka’s Cyber project with Jóhanna Rakel a.k.a Joe. She just released her debut album and her performance tonight was very polished and quite frankly perfect.
Joining her on stage was saxophone-legend Tumi Árnason and the-always-awesome-superstar Mr. Silla on guitar and backing vocals. The sound has a texture that I can only describe as being dream-like. Their outfits where angelic and flowing robes which seems spot-on. Neonme’s tracks fluctuated between an an airy lullaby-like sound and deep synth chords that that cut the air like a knife. Silla took flight with a beautiful operatic solo that received applause from all. This performance really calmed my spirit and the crowd was entranced by the beauty on display.
The transition from Neonme’s set to my next one: Nanna at Fríkirkjan was so perfect. The church was packed and people where completely focused on the music. Nanna was joined on stage by a band of highly skilled musicians such as Rakel, Salóme Katrín and Magnús Trygvason Eliassen. I really got into the music which at points felt like a form of musical massage. Nanna’s breathy and kind-spirited vocals where on-point. This was the closing set of Fríkirkjan this night and—to everyones delight—went on longer than scheduled.
I had to take a break so I went for a drink before seeing Daniil perform at IA Center. This guy has such a superstar energy. With him on stage was his trusty DJ and a guitar player. Daniil has garnered a strong local following and watching him perform for a new festival crowd was interesting. This is what Iceland Airwaves is all about. I spent the remainder of my night in a house party with good friends visiting to attend the festival, talking about music and life and staying up way past my bedtime. As one does during the Iceland Airwaves weekend.
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