| So! The anticipated gig finally happened, after only fourteen years of waiting! Well to be fair, most of us didn't wait that long, since we didn't even know it was going to happen until a few weeks ago, but still. The waiting done in those few weeks was plenty enough!|
So how was the gig? Well first of all, we were treated to musical hors d'oeuvres by DJ@mundo and KGB, Múm and Rass, but to focus on the birthday-boys and -girls; on this night of nights, it was like they never had left the stage to go separate ways - a blast from the past indeed. The music was tighter than Björk's silver tights, and Einar both hollared, whispered and did his much-loved/much-hated thing with much passion. That's when he wasn't blasting the trumpet or entertaining the crowd in both English and Icelandic inbetween the songs - the latter having the native crowd roaring with laughter. An Icelandic fella leaned over and gently squalled in my ear that it was "an inside joke". Thanks for the helping hand there, mate!
The songs were also performed bilingually - some in whole and some in parts, some switching mid-song with the crowd still chanting along (oh my Cod I'm such a poet). There was in fact a chorus as angelic as ever that filled any gap that the band would leave them. Very surreal! The highlight was of course 'Birthday' - a moment causing more than a few in the crowd to get the sniffles. Though, we are not ruling out some sniffling being due to the cirka -13°c weather that had suddenly overcome Reykjavík, of course - even the natives were complaining! Myself, I had to buy my third pair of mittens and wear them all at once to keep the cold out! It was clear and sunny enough, the real snowstorm arrived not until the next day. But I digress!
The show was filmed and projected live on two giant screens on each side of the stage, which was massively appreciated by those who hadn't arrived early and cemented themselves at the very front of the stage, not budging an inch at any price during all performances. Makes one wonder about how that added up with the plentiful amount of beverages that was served, judging from the leftover containers visible when the people cleared out after the gig! Not a subject that one wants to let one's mind stray into for too long, though. Moving along!
Not only did we get show footage, mixed in with screens showing phrases from the songs and more deeper spiritual inquiries such as "can someone find Einar's screw?", but while the crowd roared for encores and the band stormed off the stage, the cameras followed them and we got a glimpse of what the heck artists DO when they go offstage. Very peculiar things, apparently. Arriving back on stage, they performed three more songs - finishing it all with a massive, air-twangin' 'Luftgítar' featuring mister Johnny Triumph himself on vocals and airguitar, with Einar, Magga and Björk belting out the chorus just as back in the days. And not only that, they were accompanied by Hrafnkell Flóki and Örnólfur Eldon on realguitars. Now that's something you wouldn't see back in the days!
Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway); it was one hell of a night, and it continued on post-gig in the VIP room on the top floor of the 'Höll, where several DJs (Kiki-ow and Curver among others) and the bands Helmus und Dalli & Sometime entertained the ones that had been equipped with the neon-green armbands, and those who had the skill to have manage to sneak in without. The party later migrated much like a massive, wobbly puffin to downtown club Rex.
You can check out a few reviews here; The Guardian, NME, Pitchfork, RedPenguin, IcelandReview, but don't forget to send in your OWN reviews etc to the GigOgraphy - share your experiences! We have already put our own gig photos there and some press pictures to start it off with. Merchandise for the concert is available from Smekkleysa, special T-shirts were made for the concert. For those with a thirst for more media, there are a ton of videos on YouTube, as every other fan seemed to have been equipped with a digital camera. One would say that glowing LCD's are the new lighters! Thus, I hold my LCD high and say; Thank you! You were The Sugarcubes... again!