Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL
September 30th, 2013
There are plenty of acts that are great live, but only a few that are transcendent. Sigur Rós is one of the few bands that fit in the latter, being one of the only bands I have seen several people come away from their show crying tears of joy and calling it a religious experience. And for what it’s worth, that’s not that outrageous: the Icelandic post-rock band are arguably the most one-of-a-kind band of this generation; that, and their live act will leave you believing in the art of live music once more. This was my fourth go at Sigur Rós (fifth of you include their frontman Jonsi solo), and the show was very different from what I have seen from the band before, but no less life-altering.
The two biggest differences in this Sigur Rós tour compared to the majority of their tours were the insane light show display and the heavy emphasis on percussion. In the past, Sigur Rós’s light show had been more minimal and black and white, except for the big finish on “Popplagið” when they would bring the curtain down for a one-of-a-kind light and shadow finish. Now, between the strobe lights, laser lights, background lights, and hundreds of little candle lights, mixed in with the striking video visuals, a Sigur Rós show has now become a visual spectacle on top of already being an audio one. The visuals on songs like “Festival” and “Sæglópur” brought the already bombastic builds to a whole new level.
On top of the visuals, the release of their latest album Kveikur has led to them performing their heaviest and most percussive setlists to date. Jonsi is always the star of the show, with his incredible bowed electric guitar play and the voice of an alien angel, but the stage setup has been altered to make lead drummer Orri Páll Dýrason an equally dominant figure in the show. His drumming on top of percussion help from at times up to three more bandmembers made for a thundering, propulsive tour-de-force.
On top of the amazing visuals and heavier setlist, the setting couldn’t have been more perfect for a Sigur Rós show. Julianna Barwick, another atmospheric musician, set the stage for how wonderful a room the historic theater could be for an ambient act. Cue Sigur Rós, who fills a room with such beautiful sound it makes grown men cry. The combination of visual and audio wonder made for maybe my favorite show all year, one that I will remember for a very long time.
Can’t Miss: “Brennisteinn”, “Glósóli”, “Popplagið”, “Varúð”
Can’t Hit: none
- Með Blóðnasir