Asgeir at the Fine Line Music Cafe
While most of the Minneapolis population sweltered under summer’s last heat wave, on September 21st 2017, Fine Line Music Cafe offered concert goers a brief oasis with the cool, electronic sounds of Asgeir Einarsson. Inside the intimate venue, fans and newcomers alike gathered, curious to see one of Iceland’s great artists come to life on stage. Packed in amongst the crowd, I too was eager to finally hear Asgeir perform live.
I first heard Asgeir’s music this past summer while traveling around Iceland alongside fellow St. Olaf students and professors. During our long bus rides circumnavigating the country, we filled the quiet roads with songs of Asgeir’s first album, “Dýrð í Dauðaþögn.” With a combination of gentle acoustic riffs, achingly melodic choruses, poetic lyrics and elegant vocals, Asgeir’s songs created a humble backdrop to our journey. Even now listening to his music transports me back to my seat by the window, eyes taking in the rolling hills, roaming sheep, waterfalls and gray skies while Asgeir’s graceful music lulled me in and out of sleep and fascination with the beautiful country.
At only 25 years old, Asgeir has already begun to make his name through his unique style of electronic folk. After the 2012 release of his first album, “Dýrð í Dauðaþögn”, later released in English as “In the Silence” in 2013, Asgeir gained fame and success overnight. In his latest album, “Afterglow,” released May 2017, Asgeir explores a more atmospheric and deliberately electronic side to his music.
Now over halfway through his North American tour, Asgeir’s show at Fine Line Music Cafe gave Minnesota a small taste of his musical prowess. Though he performed to a fairly intimate venue, Asgeir was careful to keep an air of mystery and almost palpable distance from the crowd. Emerging on stage from a cloud of smoke, Asgeir set the tone for the rest of his set. Throughout his hourlong performance, Asgeir carefully interwove fan favorites from his first album such as “King and Cross,” “Higher” or “In the Silence,” alongside his newer tracks “Afterglow” and “Unbound.”
Overall, I was impressed by the poise and polish of his entire set. Each song faded seamlessly into the next, filling the venue with an endless atmosphere of hazy, electronic indie vibes. At the same time, however, the continuous flow allowed little time to breathe between songs. Every so often, Asgeir murmured a quiet “thank you” to the crowd then quickly returned his focus to his performance. Despite my disappointment at Asgeir’s lack of direct engagement with the audience, I believe his talent as a musician and compelling musical productions have the ability to engage listeners on another level.
- Kathryn York
To hear Asgeir’s performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk, click here:
And to watch his latest music video, I Know You Know, featuring the beautiful Icelandic countryside (!!), check out this link: