From October 30 until November 3 the Iceland Airwaves music festival exploded once again in Reykjavik, throwing out good vibes, great bands and an awesome experience in itself. Not like the usual “3-day Rock and Roll weekend“, Iceland Airwaves is just wherever you look; In bookstores, on the street, in tiny bars, in big concert halls, in shop windows, ... Often not promoted much abroad, the „off venue“, meaning the endless amount of free concerts basically everywhere, contributes a lot to the overall vibe that you can feel throughout the city during the festival.
While it is good to have certain ideas of which bands you want to see during those 5 days of awesomeness, it may be just perfect to go from bar to bar to concert hall to theatre to bar and just see what and who you find in each and every place. I want to mention two bands (that I have never heard of before) that I got to see through this: Original Melody, a hip hop combo that performed in a fully packed bar. A solid performance and a great audience – that is all you need. A big contrast to that was the performance of the trio „Nini Wilson” who are described this way: „Guitar, electric guitar, drums and lavender oil“. Lavender oil was passed around while we sat comfortably in a lecture auditorium. Besides the great music the band was incredibly funny making this one of my personal highlights of the weekend.
But let‘s not forget about the well known bands here (even though Iceland Airwaves is rather for upcoming than for established bands). Obviously the headliner Kraftwerk put up a very impressive and over 2-hour long show, but also other well-known Icelandic bands like Retro Stefson and FM Belfast put their audience into ecstasy. This can definitely also be said about the Syrian Omar Souleyman. One of the biggest concerts halls of the festival, filled from front to back with people going crazy on his beats. The list goes on and on, and I can‘t write about everyone, so I guess you will have to experience it yourself!
Talking about experience: On top of the regularly crazy-to-legendary weekends in Reykjavik, the capital is rarely as vibrant as during the Airwaves. And when you think it can‘t get better; With all the nice people, the great music, the uncommonly perfect weather during those 5 days, the flair and the beauty of the city – then you step out of the concert hall and see Northern Lights floating around the clear sky. – Iceland; You‘ve done it again!
The author is Thilo Kirsch an intern at Extreme Iceland.