Iceland Airwaves 2019: John Grant and Girl In Red dazzle on second night

Iceland Airwaves continued yesterday (November 8) with stellar sets from John Grant, Girl In Red, Anna of The North and more.

The festival perviously saw sets from Mac DeMarco, Georgia and Shame on Thursday night across venues in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik.

Singer-songwriter John Grant wowed a packed-out crowd at the Fríkirkjan church with a solo set on Friday night. Performing songs from throughout his career, Grant – who moved to Iceland several years ago – took charge of a grand piano for the intimate set.


In 2015, Grant said that moving to Iceland helped save him, and that “I feel safe here. It’s a cautious optimism connected to that feeling of security”. Speaking to the crowd in several different languages – including German, English and Icelandic – Grant praised the beautiful surroundings for this special occasion, before making stripped-back version of songs ‘Grey Tickles, Black Pressure’, ‘Geraldine’ and ‘Global Warming’ sounding expansive in the towering room. 

John Grant at Iceland Airwaves


Earlier that evening, Anna of The North brought the party to the Reykjavik Art Museum in the city centre. Following a recent London show at Heaven – which we called a “captivating performance” – the Norwegian pop star treated Iceland Airwaves crowd to a smattering of songs from her recently released album, ‘Dream Girl’.

Backed by a two-piece band, Anna’s happy-go-lucky attitude shone through on some of the albums most joyous cuts, including ‘Leaning On Myself’, ‘My Love’ and the disco-powered ‘Lonely Life’ in the hour-long set before finishing off on the powerful first album track ‘Fire’.



Anna of The North at Iceland Airwaves

Another Norwegian hero in the shape of Girl In Red closed out the festival’s second night at Gamla Bíó. Sporting Billie Eilish merch and discussing the benefits of a chill post-show party, she raced through the most exuberant cuts from her recent material.

Girl In Red at Iceland Airwaves


“Bad Idea!’, ‘Dead Girl in The Pool’ and ‘Summer Depression’ provided the right energy for the young crowd to open the pit too, while her excitable band helped raise the atmosphere in songs like ‘We Fell In Love In October’ and ‘Girls’.

Stay tuned to NME for more coverage of Iceland Airwaves