“I don’t always listen to Heilung, but when I do…so do the neighbors.”
So said an audience member at the Heiluing show, and I feel it.
While their reputation is growing, Heilung is not yet a household name. The folk group, which formed in 2014, travels worldwide, rattling bones with performances that evoke our ancient ancestors.
Using old Norse, German, and other early European languages, the trio performs ritualistic showings that are often called ceremonies rather than concerts.
The Heilung YouTube channel often posts entire live shows, which sparked my fascination in their performances.
After attending their show, my fascination has shifted closer to an obsession. I’ve never experienced the sounds and sights of that night.
Thursday night’s crowd grew strangely restless in moments leading up to the ceremony. Wolflike howls came from one side of the concert hall, which were met with a guttural response from hundreds of others.
Once the group took the stage, the ceremony began:
Remember, that we all are brothers. All people, beasts, trees and stone and wind. We all descend from the one great being that was always there. Before people lived and named it. Before the first seed sprouted.Opening Ceremony English Translation
That night, for the first time ever at The Myth, an audience member was asked to please keep quiet. He took it pretty well, considering no one likes to be shushed. A common discussion amongst the bands followers is whether the crowd should follow the group’s silence.
Unfortunately, this was not the only negativity in the crowd, as negative comments were also made, rather shouted, at attendees wearing shirts with phrases like “We Want Our Nation Back.”
This is not the first time a group has misinterpreted Heilung’s message. In a Facebook post from 2020, the group stated that any attempts to politicize their messages have been made in error and that they firmly stand with people of all groups.
Heilung is for ALL people, regardless of the color of the skin. And we are sorry that this happened at our show […] Anyone trying to fit the band into a political agenda of any sort has clearly not understood what Heilung is aboutHeilung, on Facebook, 1/31/20
For over an hour, the concert hall was left in a trance, absorbed, watching as warriors stomped, deerskin drums were banged, and flashes of the past came back into their minds.
The entire show led toward the final minutes and closing ceremony, as Heilung began Hamrer Hippyer. This one’s definitely worth the watch.
The pit began to shift as the show’s peak approached, and finally, Myth’s energy was released.
If you’re new to Heilung, I’d recommend checking out “Anoana” and “Norupo.” You’ll get a lot out of them, no matter what genres you prefer.
And you never know, it might just awaken something inside. At the very least, it should wake up your neighbors.