Went to the Reykajavik Calling show at Neumos last night and had a great time. This was sort of a last minute deal because we ended up with a babysitter and were looking for something fun to do.
We missed the first set, apparently, and walked into a packed venue just as Gudrid Hansdottir and Tomo Nakayama started their set. I thought they were a great duo, playing and harmonizing really naturally together. Gudrid has a beautiful voice that really caught our attention. Check out Gudrid Hansdottir‘s stuff on iTunes.
Next up was David Bazan and Snorri Helgason. Both of these guys were okay, but not great. I heard what I thought was a really good sound from David Bazan that might be good under different circumstances, but for this particular show it didn’t go well. Snorri had what I might call a classic folk sound that can be really awesome at times. In their defense the audience was restless and sound was messed up for a few songs, so that didn’t help.
At this point, being parents who don’t get out much, it was well past our bedtimes and we were ready to head home—fortunately we stuck it out a bit long. Sean Nelson and Kyle O’Quin did an excellent, really fun set with a pop rock sound. Sean Nelson is quite the entertainer and I was hooked within 20 seconds. That was a blast.
Finally, we heard two songs from Ólöf Arnalds (iTunes) before retreating for the night. I wish we could have stuck around longer, because she was definitely entertaining. She started with an unmic-ed a-cappella of a poem that was both strange and awesome. And followed with a Nirvana cover of Polly, in homage to the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind album. She totally destroyed it, but had a lot of fund doing it :-). She says she first picked up a guitar in order to play their Unplugged album, and learned all the songs straight through. Definitely wish I could have heard more from her.