First night of Sónar Reykjavík already went down in history! And though it started surprisingly unobtrusively, it ended with a big bang of joy and glitter. But step by step.
Opening act was Stereo Hypnosis in the main venue SonarHall, which is Silfurberg hall. However even the smallest venue would have been easily suffient for the few people attending this show. Kind of sad for Stereo Hypnosis, the ambient electronic act from Flatey, Iceland. Relaxed soundscapes, hypnotically indeed, and cool visuals of Icelandic volcanoes and sunsets on the huge screen at the back of the stage. Those guys would have deserved more attention for sure. Certainly more effective in a small venue.
Luckily the situation changed significantly right with the next band which was Vök, undoubtly among the most thrilling electronic artists right now in Iceland. The place filled up decently and the deep basslines and melodic saxophone made the crowd move. This gig was the kick off to their upcoming headliner European tour so make sure not to miss them when they’re around your town! Check out our event calendar for German dates.
The acceleration continued with Reykjavíkurdætur, a real outburst of energy and about a dozen of rapping women even made the huge stage look rather small. That was wild and the audience was heavily shaking their feet – and obviously a lot of locals where present, shouting out the chorus of the songs.
Next stop was over at Norðurljós hall and it was an artist I’ve already seen at Airwaves14 in a small boutique called Jör up in Laugarvegur where he played an energetic set between upper class suits and expensive shirts. This time, Good Moon Deer was supported by some expressionistic dancers that romped around on stage. It felt more like an artistic performance driven by heavy experimental-electronic beats than a concert but it was really cool. You don’t see flowerpots, small figures of deer or antlers on a stage too often.
Almost at the same time, Icelandic underground house pioneer Intr0beatz delivered his set outside at SonarPub in the hallways of Harpa which was a phenomenal setting of course. The illuminated glass structures of the building looked like an electronic cathedral for Intr0beatz’ preaching of deep beats and the faithful were dancing themselves to trance while outside the Icelandic winter was raging again.
Over to Norðurljós next door again for Icelandic phenomenon Milkywhale. Melkorka Sigríður Magnúsdóttir is like an aerobic instructor to the crowd, jumping around on the whole stage while Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson from FM Belfast is delivering the beats. There’s nothing similar to this in Iceland right now, with the exception of FM Belfast maybe, which spreads so much joy and uncompromising fun on stage. The crowd was cheering accordingly!
Big bang closes the first night! Páll Óskar, the Icelandic king of Pop, immediately reminded me a little of Empire of the Sun. It’s colorful, it’s synthiepop, there are dancers dressed in sequin morphsuits and Páll Óskar in a space suit of blue sequins and golden boots and gloves. And there are glitter canons! Yeah! Pour that glitter on me! Silfurberg is packed and the first row is about 95% women shouting along every single line of lyrics. Perfect finish for day one!