Two days before I was supposed to leave Iceland for Hawaii, I found out that Justin Timberlake was going to be performing live in Reykjavik. And it was his first time ever performing in Iceland. And they were live streaming the concert worldwide. Of course, I had to get tickets.
The day before the concert, I was able to secure a ticket for Row 2, Seat 7 – which, in theory, sounded pretty good. It turns out the venue was an indoor soccer field (the short way though), with the stage on one side and the seats on the other. The entire field was general admission standing room.
I was pretty astonished that 1) The concert hadn’t yet sold out; and 2) It hadn’t been widely publicized. I found out because a friend commented about the concert on one of my Instagram pics, not through a local flier or paper or magazine. So with m y ticket in hand, all I needed to do was figure out how I was going to get back and forth to the venue, located half an hour away in Korinn. I had already returned my rent-a-car, and the bus situation in Reykjavik is a little bit of a joke. A taxi would have probably run me an arm and a leg. And then my other arm and leg to get back into town! Luckily for me, this guy came to the rescue!!
I had met Evgeny randomly a couple days earlier while he was sitting down outside of the restaurant I was eating at, reading a book, drinking a beer and watching the sunset. And as luck would have it, he made his way back to Reykjavik at around the same time I did. He offered me a ride to and from the concert!! So I jumped on and hitched a ride on this skateboard! Jussst kidding. He actually brought this longboard all the way from Russia because he saw Ben Stiller riding one in Iceland in Walter Mitty and thought that was a killer idea. Thanks again for the ride, Evgeny!!
Once inside, I skipped the seats and maneuvered my way right up near the front center of the stage. I knew that it was gonna be really hard to see over those tall Icelanders, so I tried to lock down a good spot. Before long, the opening band, GusGus, took the stage. I don’t know how to describe their music, but when I asked a girl next to me, she described it as “weird hipster coffee house” music. I definitely disagree. I actually really liked them. I guess I would say that they’re what Sigur Ros would sound like if they were a little more electronic, dark, and weird. It was good and their beats were heavy. I found it odd that I appeared to be the only one dancing.
After a few songs, GusGus departed and the man himself, JT took the stage. I honestly couldn’t believe that I was watching Justin Timberlake perform live in Iceland. You’ve got to understand that living in Hawaii, as amazing as it is, has its drawbacks. And live music is one of them. None of the major acts want to spend the time or money to head our way, so we typically have to fly elsewhere for good shows! And JT was definitely a bucket list concert for me.
Don’t forget, it’s JT and the Tennessee Kids! And they were amazing. The one weird thing was, no one was dancing. I mean, some people were dancing. But for the most part, I just kinda don’t think Icelanders are groovy people. I was moving from start to finish. From the opening act, even. But there were SO many people around me who were not dancing, moving, or even looking like they were enjoying themselves, really. I was kinda feeling bad for JT, it being a live show and his first ever performance in Iceland.
I will say this though. As much as they did not dance, they also hardly took out their phones to take pictures, and I must say – I found that incredibly refreshing. They probably found me annoying because I kept busting out my camera (yes, camera, because let’s face it – iPhones take horrible low light photos).
I posted several videos from the JT concert on my YouTube channel if ya wanted to catch a glimpse!
I shot a couple pics of the crowd on the way out because I thought it was pretty reflective of the makeup of Iceland in general. I think that out of all the places I’ve been to in the world, it was the least diverse in terms of ethnicity. It makes sense, because Iceland has a population of only about 300,000, most of whom remain on the island and end up with fellow Icelanders. Plus they maintain very strict control over immigration. But still, it was a little unusual, especially coming from Hawaii, which is a melting pot of ethnicities and cultures.
At the end of the concert, it looks like everyone is leaving, but really everyone is queuing for pizza and soda. I guess that’s a thing there, and I like it. If you wanna see more pics from the JT concert, search the #JTkorinn hashtag on Insta. I’ll also post some videos soon!