Well, to be exactly, that’s a review about two concerts. Because Agent Fresco was already on stage at Ampere, Munich, the day before on December7th. And as it’s only about one hour drive from Munich to Nuremburg, what could be more obvious than to enjoy this phantastic band on two consecutive days?
Agent Fresco @Ampere, Munich, 7.12.2015
So heading for Ampere on monday. At the beginning, I was a little surprised about so few people at the entrance. Though consequently, there was also no rush at the wardrobe or bar, neither. Which is good. Luckily however, the crowd grew later during the support act The Charles, who played some good ol’ style Blues Rock’n’Roll despite their young age. So finally, a decently packed Ampere could welcome the evening’s main attraction: Arnór Dan Arnarson (vocals/piano), Hrafnkell ‘Keli’ Örn Guðjónsson (drums), Vignir Rafn Hilmarsson (bass) und Þórarinn ‘Tóti’ Guðnason (guitar/piano), also known as Agent Fresco. Starting with “Anemoi” and “He is listening” from their already five years old full album debut “A long time listening”, it was already obvious what would become the drawback of this evening. No reproaches to Agent Fresco, they kicked ass as expected. But regrattably, the sound was rather poorly mixed. At least right in front of stage, it was hard to understand Arnór’s vocals. No idea if it was better further away from the stage as the crowd got along enthusiastically. But as I couldn’t catch too much myself except of the furious instrumental performances, I’ll just switch over to…
Agent Fresco @Club Stereo, Nuremburg, 8.12.2015
Everyone who’s familiar with Club Stereo and Agent Fresco could vaguely guess what the crowd would witness on this tuesday evening at a cellar room at Klaragasse, Nuremburg. This tiny, but classy club does not offer much more room than kind of a more spacious linving room. Except of two low stairs leading to a really small-sized stage at one corner of the chamber and a bar at the other side. In anticipation of the upcoming exhilaration you couldn’t help yourself but just smile. But first, there was another outburst of musical ingenuity in the form of the support act called Lake Cisco. This German band based in Koblenz/Cologne played some sick post progressive rock influenced by math and post rock styles. And it suited Agent Fresco very well therefore. Your homework: listen to that stuff!
And then our four Icelanders entered the stage. And it was obvious from the beginng, which was “Anemoi” and “He is listening” again, that this would be something completely different this evening when it comes to sound. This time, Arnór’s voice was clearly understandable and very well mixed. And the crowd worshipped it by singing along loudly the refrains – in case they knew them. Like during the following, recent single of the “Destrier” album, the terrific “Howls”. You just can’t control yourself anymore when drums, guitar and bass soar for that hymn-like, euphoric intro. In between the songs, Arnór told some stories about the lyrics which is important to understand the band and their music. Cause throughout, they are subtle and metaphoric. “See hell” for example is dealing with the ramifications of an insidious, gutless attack Arnór suffered a few years ago in downtown Reykjavík. Or in case of one of the band’s most brilliant songs ever, “Eyes of a cloud catcher”, which describes the passing away of a beloved human, namely Anrnór’s father. It’s virtually impossible not to be touched by this tearful yet hopeful refrain which is tailor-made to join in. You could see and feel the band enjoying every single moment of playing in this intimate atmosphere troughout the whole 15 songs of their set. Musically, Agent Fresco is certainly amongst the most gifted and powerful acts of the island currently. Each one is a perfectly skilled musician and combined together, the complex rhythms and arrangements typical for math rock reveal a symbiosis-like synergy and an icredible sense for making music together.
You missed that? That’s a pity as the Destrier-Tour is over at least when it comes to Germany this weekend. However, Agent Fresco will return for four gigs in January in Cologne, Berlin and Munich to support Coheed and Cambria and another gig in Hamburg. You don’t want to miss I promise.