Photo courtesy of sigur-ros.co.uk
I admittedly may be a little late to the Sigur Rós scene (just come to really appreciate them in the last year or so) and this was the first set I caught from these gentle Icelandic gents. Watching their film Heima gave some insight into their performance style ahead of time, but it was no replacement for seeing them . Saltair may be a bitch to get to, no offense Jimmy the Tooth and your Kollective crew, but once one arrives the shows are mostly worth it. I haven’t seen the venue packed like this in a long while though, so I don’t anticipate that anyone thought this was a “secret” band or show. Sigur Rós is big in Utah. When large quantities of douchebags agree and are in close proximity to you, you cannot deny it. I resolve not to let their douchebaginess block my party though, and I will definitely catch Sigur Rós next time around..
“Gobbledigook” was a standout song, as I am a big fan of the new album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, though some diehards may not like the progression of the newer Sigur Rós, I quite enjoyed it live. The addition of a cavalcade of drummers onstage banging about during the wicked drum and vox breakdown was a big plus. I’m a fool for a good stage setup and the double textile/scrim facade the band was playing visuals through coalesced into some pretty, dazzling imagery. In general it was a pleasure to watch Jónsi break the shit out of some bows he was using to create the interesting bowed effect on guitar. If you can imagine how well a bow might fair in a battle with steel strings, you can comprehend the onstage destruction of a classical music tool versus modern machinery. That actually may be a good way to sum up what Sigur Rós is: classical influences and modern rock combining into a fusion reaction with an amalgamation of nonsense words (”Vonlenska”) and ethereal swells. And whenever I do visit a fjord you can bet your ass I will be streaming some Sigur Rós album in my head. The band is that good at distilling the beauty of their natural environment into a nicely exportable and compact musical experience with expansive boundaries, at least to my landlocked Utah-American ears.
A welcome addition to the Sigur Rós experience of late comes through their “media sharing room” in their website. The band freely encourages sharing and exchange of files in a special area of their site. Check it out and share/download some media files here.