The former half of Iðnó’s Friday line-up was interesting. The night started promptly at eight with a set from Jóhann Kristinsson. His music is in many ways conventional indie rock with creative songwriting performed very nicely. He started out playing alone on his acoustic guitar, but a band joined in the next few songs. The performance was at the brink of becoming engaging, as its only faults were due to the lack of the relentless playing needed for artists to really connect with an audience.
Low Roar‘s (IS/US) performance had obviously created some buzz because the venue became jam packed right before they got on stage at the relatively early hour of ten to nine. The band’s carefully crafted slow electronic rock soundscape was performed with much confidence. The audience seemed extremely pleased as there was a lot of woo-ing and clapping, a feedback unusual for a performance that one would rather describe as cerebral than upbeat. When the venue became uncomfortably crowded and I stepped back into the hallway to take a few notes, it was only to overhear concert guests discuss their joy and excitement over Low Roar.
San Fermin (US) is a indie rock band where many of the band members sing. Most of them play more than one instrument and the vibe was generally good. They didn’t start out all too well, but progressed quite nicely. The highlight of their show when they performed what I believe was their third song of the set. The song was sang by a woman with a vocal stylings reminiscent of Kate Bush and was very engaging and definitely their best moment during the set. Their connection with the audience could have been better in the other songs but all in all it was a decent performance. Still, for the most part, deprived of a strength they really seem to be capable of yielding.
Mono Town is an Icelandic outfit of seasoned musicians. They are really not confined to a specific genre although the music is groovy rock pop fusion of some sorts. It’s hard to assess a band like Mono Town. The players are extremely competent, genres are a game to them and they can dabble with just about any jazzy fusion sound they want to. As their set progressed more and more people came to Iðnó and some were singing and dancing to the music. Mono Town did their job really well, but did they present a new interesting sound? No. But that’s not what they are about, they are about being terrific at playing music and provide some fine entertainment. At this, they definitely succeed.