A stage reminiscent of a theater, a curious and happy audience, and a band that captivated everyone were the ingredients of a beautiful evening at Object 5 in Halle. Support act Myrra Rós contributed as much to this as Árstíđir, the main act of the night.
Halle was the seventh concert of their three week tour across Germany and marked exactly the middle of it. The variety of venues on this tour included everything from rock clubs to churches, and Árstíđir as well as Myrra Rós felt and looked right at home on each stage.
Myrra Rós started the evening; only with her guitar, she walked up on stage and sang songs from her current album ‚Kveldúlfur’ (Englisch: night wolf) and more. She plays beautiful, no frills melodies and her clear, strong voice is quite captivating. Her set included six songs, English as well as Icelandic ones. She just stood there quietly, told us stories about friends, lost love, fairy-tale creatures, and even sang a lullaby for her daughter. For “Sail on”, she asked the audience for help and they made a perfect background choir. Those who were willing to get into the music could easily forget that we were at a club and not at a small theater. Her songs were well received, and they left us yearning for more and provided a good base for the rest of the evening.
After a short break, it was time for Árstíđir, and they were greeted warmly. Soon they had captivated their audience and even those that had only clapped a little in the beginning were soon showing more enthusiastic reactions. English and Icelandic songs were equally well received. The sound was good, the mix just right - every instrument and each voice could be heard clearly and nicely came together. The audience really listened so even softer passages and nuances didn’t get lost.
The band played songs from both of their albums, as well as a cappella songs and a new one that didn’t even have a name yet. The mixture of songs was good, softer ones alternating with more dramatic ones, sometimes the guitars were foregrounded, sometimes the strings or the piano. The music as well as the singing of one or more voices showed everything Árstíđir have to offer.
After the concert had ended with the powerful “Shades” and the much softer counterpart “Tárin”, the audience was yelling for more. Árstíđir fulfilled their wishes and first sang a cover of Billy Joel’s “And so it goes” based on the a cappella arrangement by the King’s Singers. After that, they walked off the stage and sang one last song among the audience without microphones. Many people in the audience heard the band for the first time that night. The happy looks in their faces at the end of it told me that it was not the last time.
Free download of the a cappella song “Ther ég unni” live from Dresden: http://arstidir.bandcamp.com/track/r-g-unni