Crazy for Concerts

{February 22, 2010}   Emiliana Torrini Feb. 21st, 2010

Finally something to write about.  My life has been very much concert-less lately, almost to a level of suffering.  Thankfully I managed to snatch up a couple of tickets to the last concert of Emiliana Torrini’s “Me and Armini” tour.

Last time I saw Emiliana live was probably 11-12 years ago and was pleasantly surprised yesterday.  Her warm-up acts were good.  Different but good.  And when Emiliana took the stage one was immediately entranced.  She has such a calm, peaceful and, above all, friendly aura about herself and when she sings, she sings with her whole body and soul.  The concert was absolutely brilliant from beginning to end and I’m so glad I went 🙂

Top of it all: Jungle Drum and the quirky humour Emiliana showed her audience in between the songs.  The rest of the songs were all fantastic too.


{July 6, 2008}   July 1st, 2008

A rare treat when one of the truly magnificent living legends came to Iceland.  Paul Simon honoured us with the first concert of his European tour!  A great ensemble of musicians on stage with him and what a joy it was to listen.  Much of the concert was filled with the south-american and african rhythms Paul Simon has used in his music in the past 20 years or so.  But in between there were unbelievable gems like Sound of Silence with only Paul Simon and his guitar.  I have never in my life experienced such a dramatic moment at a concert.  Not a single person in the audience moved or talked while the song was played but afterwards the biggest middle-of-concert applause I’ve ever experienced broke out and people were clapping, stomping their feet, shouting and whistling for several minutes and the band graciously waited to begin their next song even though they were ready immediately after SoS.

Highlights (other than Sound of Silence) were You can call me Al, Diamonds on the soles of her shoes, Me and Julio, Graceland, The Boxer, Mrs. Robinson.. oh and just about everything else.  People were dancing and singing, it was a beautiful concert!

4 1/2 out of 5.

{July 3, 2008}   June 12th, 2008

And just around the corner from a rockin’ evening, there was a soft and mellow (mostly) concert by James Blunt in Reykjavik.  I have a lot to thank Mr. Blunt for, since his music is the reason why my husband’s musical taste developed a few months ago into not being only about German hard rock, but also about music with meaning.  There was no escaping it, I got us a pair of ridiculously expensive tickets and we soaked in the music of Mr. Blunt.

Now, James Blunt is a bit of an odd fellow.  He seems a bit socially awkward but is at the same time so absolutely lovable that you don’t really mind and find his awkward-ness endearing.  His concert was definately like that!  Completely beautiful and touching and lovable and socially awkward.  How many times do you have the star of the concert jumping off stage and running almost the largest round possible in the seated section, without people standing up, running with him, grabbing him and kissing him?  Not many times, I tell you.  Mr. Blunt actually grabbed a few sitting girls and planted kisses on their lips.  And hardly anyone moved.  Very close to where we were sitting a boy stood up, and planted himself into the alley where James was about to come running through.  There was a spread of arms from both sides and they collapsed in the most awesome bearhug there ever was.  And a couple of seconds later Mr. Blunt was on his way, kissing more sitting girls and then getting up on stage again.

I’m just saying… Icelanders are weird people.

5 out of 5 stars for fantastic music and lovable awkwardness!

{July 3, 2008}   June 10th, 2008

Not a concert for months and then flood came.  Whitesnake started off the summer with noise and lots of noise!  Reykjavik was beautiful that day, sunny and warm.  David Coverdale was so funny, I had a blast just watching him on stage.  My guess is he had at least 5-6 beers before coming on stage 😉  He was full of flirt and smiles and innocent, finger-in-the-corner-of-the-mouth kind of look.  His voice rocked most of the time but a couple of songs where he had to his the high notes, it started cracking a bit.  I loved it anyway.

The best part of the show for me was to see bass player Uriah Duffy who completely blew my mind with his plank-spanking!  What a great head of hair too 😉

Almost forgot to mention the warm-up band, Sign.  A bunch of icelandic youngsters who really have a hell of a lot of potential.  And I can see very clearly why singer Zolberg is frequently compared with Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach.

A great rockin’ evening!  3 1/2 out of 5

{July 2, 2008}   October 31st, 2007

I don’t listen very much to classical music but when I heard that Andrea Bocelli, the blind, self-taught opera singer from Italy, was planning an event in Reykjavik, I knew I had to go.  The evening was not much less than magical, apart from the soprano Andrea brought with him.  He would have gotten a much better voice and tons more feeling on stage if he’d chosen to sing with Diddú, the most famous Icelandic soprano.

Anyway, there were quite a few tears shed throughout the evening.  A few songs worth mentioning were “Nessun Dorma”, “E lucevan le stelle” from Tosca and of course “Time to say goodbye”

My rating: 4 out of 5.  The only disadvantage was the arena the event was held in. It’s not good for concerts like this.

{July 2, 2008}   July 10th, 2007

Toto came to Iceland in July, 2007.  A great bunch of musicians and totally awesome to see Leland Sklar live for the first time (even though he was just filling in for the injured bass player).. what a magician that man is with the bass!  I had a lot of fun but a lot of people around me didn’t have much fun because “they didn’t know half the songs”.  What the f*”)#/$)&$# sh*)=”#)$ does it matter if you know all the songs or not?  If you can’t be bothered to do your homework, don’t complain about the songs they play!!

My rating: definately 4 1/2 out of 5.  Excellent concert!

{July 2, 2008}   June 23rd, 2007

In the summer of 2007 I went to Germany with two of my best friends ever.  Amongst the gazillion excellent adventures we had, we got to see GENESIS in Hannover!!!  O – M – G!!!

As soon as the band hit the first notes of Behind the lines, the clouds drew in and we got the soaking of a lifetime! Oh yeah.  My first big outdoor concert and I was wet to the bone!  Fortunately the rain didn’t last very long (about 10-15 minutes) but who was counting?  I loved it.  I finally saw Phil Collins on stage.  He’s one of my long-time idols, such an excellent musician and I found out in Hannover that he’s funny too.

It was one fantastic concert.  We were on the floor of this humongous stadium, about 25-30 meters from the stage, in the midst of crazy German people who thought we were from fairy-land.  Soaked to the bone too!  Thankfully our hotel was just a 5 minute walk from the stadium so pretty soon we were able to get into our warm suite on the top floor, overlooking the awesome lake in the middle of Hannover.

It’s going to be tough to top that trip!  5 out of 5 stars for a perfect performance, loads of laughs and memorable moments.

{July 2, 2008}   March 28th, 2007

I couldn’t pass one this up. Sir Cliff playing for the old girls in Reykjavik. It was a darling concert. Cliffie boy still has his voice and still thinks himself pretty hot. The audience was great apart from a few too drunk old and grumpy men. My mum had a blast, as did I! I knew almost all the songs. Being an almost-Englander-at-heart I just had to see him 🙂

My rating would be a 3 out of 5. Perhaps a half more because of Sir Cliff not singing too many Jesus-songs.

{September 20, 2007}   August 12th, 2006

What a treat!  Morrissey in Iceland 🙂  I could hardly believe my ears when I first heard about it but this was one concert I would not miss for the world.  I was young when I found out about The Smiths from my older sister.  It was quite a revelation after being surrounded by brit-pop from all angles.  Morrissey fascinated me from the beginning and therefore I just had to see him when he finally made his way to Iceland.

My sister’s boyfriend and I did play groupies and were by the arena when Morrissey arrived.  We got into the line early and managed to get seats in the 2nd row in the middle.  Great seats.  But as soon as the lights turned down, everyone from the 1st row went up to the barrier by the stage anyway, so we headed that way too.  I might also mention that the warm-up artist was awful.  Simply horrible.  I think her name is Kristina Young and no, she did not deserve warming up for Morrissey.

The man himself was totally completely and utterly awesome.  I loved his play with the mic cord, he was stomping around it like a bull fighter with his red cape.  His voice was perfect, he gets better as he ages!  His raw jokes “Oh you music lovers you” “I was once in a band…” were excellent and I really had a brilliant time.  New songs and old, they were all perfectly delivered.  The crowd went wild with the old Smiths songs and some of the audience (mostly the foreigners) knew his new ones.  I was thrilled to get the chance to see Morrissey live.  He’s certainly one of the best performers I’ve seen wrt audience participation.

5 stars for sheer brilliance from beginning to end.

{September 20, 2007}   April 3rd, 2006

Wembley Arena in London.  Depeche Mode was out and about after a long time away.  I had bought the tickets 9 months in advance and prepared well by getting to know their new album from beginning to end.

Let’s just begin by saying that Dave Gahan is one of the coolest dudes on earth.  It was great to see him sober and so full of energy and vibe and feeling for the crowd!  I had watched a recording of the “Songs of faith and devotion” tour where he was drugged/drunk/both, his speech was slurred at times and there wasn’t much contact with the audience.  I was so glad to see that on this evening in London he was in perfect shape.  He danced the whole time, swung his hips quite a lot and got really sweaty which was nice 😉  He played with the audience, craving participation and he got it!  The crowd was perfect.  Old songs and new, everyone sang along and we had so much fun.  It’s also a great surprise to be up front by the barrier and not be squashed to death, like almost always happens in concerts in Iceland.

Anyway, the other two members of the band, Martin and Fletch were perfect too.  Martin is always the shy and sensitive one and his voice was perfect in his solos.  Fletch, who usually just hangs back by the synth and doesn’t do anything but press buttons, was jumping up and down clapping and singing by the end!

I loved it.  I’ll splurge on a trip to see them again whenever they get back into gear.

5 stars for being fantastic from beginning to end.  The tears Martin shed at the end were the perfect prop!

et cetera