Thursday, September 25, 2008

With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly

I arrived at the historic Chicago Theatre to meet my friend Annie for the Sigur Rós concert.  Having never seen them live before, I was extremely excited.  I knew that this would be a glorious and sublime concert.  Normally they have played with an orchestra, but on this tour, they are stripped down to their four members.

Of course I needed to take a few pictures of the theater.

We took our seats in about the eighth row (It was officially the fourth row, but they had set up a few rows of chairs right in front of the stage over the orchestra pit, so we were about eight back.) and watched the opening act, Parachutes, which was very good and sound a lot like Sigur Rós (but in English). (The lead singer is also Jónsi's boyfriend, so the influence is understandable.)

Anyway, the lights went off and the boys fom Iceland took the stage, opening with a stirring rendition of "Svefn-g-englar." The lighting added a great atmosphere to the show.

Next came one of my favorites, "Glosoli," and the crowd really got into it.  I will say that Jónsi's voice sounds amazing live--the clarity and purity of the studio recordings is completely preserved, and he sang every song beautifully.

Great songs continued, and they played a great mix of old and new (see setlist below). We also had a great view of Ágúst, the drummer, and it was a wonder to behold his masterful work. 

The middle of the show brought the fantastic trio of "Hoppipolla/með bloðnasir," "Inni mer syngur vitleysyngur," and a very moving "Festival."

Of course "Gobbledigook" was a miracle, and the members of Parachutes came out to provide extra drums.

And then came the confetti cannons. At first there was so much shredtastic goodness that we could not even see the stage, and as the lights danced through the paper bits and the crowd sang along, the mood was truly joyous.

So here is the setlist:

ny batteri
við spilum endalaust
hoppipolla/með bloðnasir
inni mer syngur vitleysyngur
svo hljott
popplagid -- track 8 from ( ) -- What a surprising, edgy, and powerful way to end the show.

This show was wonderful.  And I may or may not have recorded "Hoppipolla." 

(The lighting gets a little better as it goes on--they were playing on a dark stage!)


At 9:32 AM, Blogger undulatingorb posited...


At 1:42 PM, Blogger Erik posited...

To hear "Svefn-G-Englar" live would've been amazing. I'm kicking myself for not attempting to get tickets to their Minneapolis show in time. It was sold out when my friend and I tried.


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