Sigur Ros Live

By theajaysharma

Last night's performance was absolutely breathtaking. At some points, the beauty was almost too much to bear. When you get chills for the 5th time in two minutes and you can't bear to see Jonsi break his heart on yet another note, you know it's definitely an emotional night.

Before I get to the songs, let me say that the whole concert was filmed for HBO's "Reverb" program, so I'll be trying desperately to find anyone I know with premium cable (or, I'm actually considering subscribing just for the month's it's on!). So the 1/2 city block of mobile video units, camera men, and wires hopefully did an admirable job of capturing the concert for those who couldn't make it last night.

Review by Melissa Fehr

I didn't get a setlist, but I copied it down from a nice girl who did. I gave each untitled song a descriptive name in my head as I went along, so I have a pretty clear memory of each one, after the first one):

  1. Vaka -- Sadly, I was too awestruck and standing with my mouth open to take much of it in critically, so I don't remember too much of this one, other than Orri was at the piano (rather than the drums), and Jonsi was playing with some weird reverb equipment by Kjartan's keyboards instead of singing or playing the guitar.
  2. Nójosnavelin (aka The Nothing Song) -- This is one of my favorite songs of theirs *ever*, and I was so glad they played it. Jonsi's vocals were spot on (as they were for the entire hour and 45 minute performance!), and the lighting was lots of tiny moving pinpoints of light coming off 3 giant disco balls. really beautiful.
  3. Ný batterý -- the first one the crowd recognized. It was played close to the studio recording, but the hard/loud section halfway through was even more powerful in a live setting, which made it much more exciting after the quiet bits.
  4. Lagið í gær -- This one started off with a really harsh drum crash that made me jump and almost a violent sound to the whole song. Whatever he was actually saying, the chorus sounded like "Inside" over and over. The darker side of Sigur Ros, if you will.
  5. Álafoss -- This was as warm and fuzzy as Lagið í gær was harsh. The screen behind the band showed silhouetted birds on a wire in slow motion, with several taking flight at certain moments. A really lovely track, maybe my favorite of the new ones (to me) from the night.
  6. Olsen Olsen -- My absolute favorite from Agaetis byjrjun! For the very beginning bit with the bass (go listen to it to see what I mean), they showed a little bird waddling on the screen, and it fit so perfectly with the sound that the whole audience was giggling... This was just breathtaking, and Kjartan played the flute part perfectly (and I have a critical eye for the flute since I played it for 8 years). I was wondering how they were going to pull off this track without an orchestra, but really, the only bit that was missing was the flidding at the very end on the studio version where the flute/piccolo comes in by itself. So, it wasn't missing much!
  7. Fyrsta -- This one started off with a low rumbling noise and was in a minor key (I think), but it made me think of a cold wind. Chilling, but still very nice. Completely polar opposite emotions invoked than in Álafoss, almost unsettling.
  8. Samskipti -- The only song without Jonsi the entire night (he huddled out of view). Kjartan played a repetetive organ part, Orri sat beside him on the piano, and Georg played a precious little melody on the bells that reminded me alot of "Frosti" from Bjork's Vespertine album.
  9. Svefn-g-englar -- The crowd went absolutely WILD for this one. What I was amazed with, though, was the "bong" sound that's repeated throughout the song -- it wasn't done on a tape loop, but instead was a little touch screen instrument that Kjartan controlled in between his keyboard playing! Technically and emotionally, this was done to absolute perfection (I'm assuming because they've played it 1,000,000s of times).
  10. Dauða lagið -- For most of the song, I thought this was Popplagid, since I have an version of that song from Haskolabio, Iceland 1999. I kept hearing the line "Inside my head/heart", though (although I'm SURE that wasn't what he was saying -- that's just what it sounded like to me). A bit longer than the other songs, and another warmer song.
  11. Poooooooooooooppppppppppppp (aka Popplagid) -- The new version of this BLEW me away. It sounds nothing like the version I have (that I mentioned above). I think the guys were itching for some heavy songs, because they let it all loose here. Thrashing bass and drums, controlled screaming from Jonsi, it was (dare I say it?), very Mogwai-esque. :) It ended the concert on such a high energy level.

After Pop, the crowd went insane. Unlike most concert where you clap genuinely for a while and then just keep clapping to keep the sound level up so they'll come back out, people were sincerely in a frenzy!! It was fantastic, there was so much energy in the room that the band were kinda embarrassed that we loved them so much and crept out for two awkward "stand together and link arms" bows before the house lights came on (and people were still clapping after that!).

I'm sure I've forgotten lots, but I'm hoping someone will have bootlegged it so I can hear those songs again...