Radiohead’s first-ever concert in Iceland brings incredible setlist at the breathtaking Secret Solstice Festival

The annual festival Secret Solstice takes place during the summer solstice in Iceland, celebrating 24 hours of light. Anyone who lives up north definitely appreciates this light after such a long period of darkness. So, naturally, they need a party to celebrate.

Crowds having fun

The festival is just outside the city centre with views of Iceland’s natural wonder.
I can’t tell you how exhilarating it is to walk out of a gig at 11.45pm, and still experience daylight. And not to mention the breath-taking backdrop of the mountains in one of the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders (you can see some more photos of these wonders in my travel diary HERE).

Midnight Sun

The festival is themed around Norse mythology and the stages are named accordingly: Askur, Valhalla, Gimli, Ragnarok and Fenrir, with Icelandic men filling the festival, looking like they stepped right out of Ásgarðr (the home of Norse gods).

And let’s not forget the lineup. The 2016 event featured the likes of Of Monsters and Men, Action Bronson, Die Antwood, Deftones and RADIOHEAD, who were playing Iceland for the first time at this festival. Suffice it to say, there was something for everyone. There’s also a strong focus on local up and comers and the ones in-between.

Karma Police

But there’s more to Secret Solstice than just the festival, there’s some amazing and unique side events. Like the performance of Deftone’s front man Chino Moreno inside the Thrihnuagigur Volcano 400ft underground, which unfortunately I missed as only 35 people could fit inside. There was also a Midnight Sun Boat Party and Glacier Party.

The Hot Tub

The festival gives you a taste of Iceland and apparently the world’s best hotdog, great camping and even a Hot Tub (see photo, overlooking the main stage).

The Hot Tub Man

The highlight for me was without question Radiohead.

Radiohead

I waited a long… long… long time to finally see this band live and they didn’t disappoint. They opened with “Burn the Witch”, the first released and opening track from their latest album, A Moon Shaped Pool, which was followed by a slew of new songs  until they unleashed “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi”, “My Iron Lung “and “No Surprises”. With 2 encores and an rendition of the rarely played “Creep” largely sung by the audience (as it had been in Barcelona earlier that month), I was in Radiohead heaven!

Other highlights from the festival included:

Halleluwah

HALLELUWAH 

Mani Orrason

MANI ORRASON

Fufanu

FU FANU 

Lady Leshurr

LADY LESHURR 

Crowd and Flatbush

FLATBUSH ZOMBIES 

All in all, this was a breathtaking festival. And for those playing at home, here’s a look back at the setlist Radiohead played on the night. Or was it day? It all gets confusing with that much sun…

Radiohead Setlist:
Burn the Witch
Daydreaming
Decks Dark
Desert Island Disk
Ful Stop
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
My Iron Lung
No Surprises
The Gloaming
Separator
Identikit
The Numbers
Feral
Reckoner
The National Anthem
Everything in Its Right Place
Idioteque

Radiohead bw

Encore:
Bloom
Paranoid Android
Nude
2 + 2 = 5
There There

Encore 2:
Karma Police
Creep
Bodysnatchers

For more details about the festival, head to the official Secret Solstice Website. All photos by the author.