Sigur Ros @ Saltair

Posted October 14, 2008 in
Sigur Ros 09.30.08 Saltair On Denver Street in Salt Lake City, Utah, there sits a fine cigar shop by the name of Knuckleheads. If you are planning on going to a music show 30 minutes west of civilization on a road through an unlivable stretch of dry lake bed, you may need to go to such a tobacconist beforehand to enjoy a lil something on the road. And if you also happen to enjoy a fruit flavored soda pop then you maybe will enjoy a fruit flavored cigar wrapper. And if you are doing all of those things before a Sigur Rós show I believe it is as certain a thing as death and taxes (the kind to come from Wall Street’s Welfare Package) that when Sigur Rós shoot their confetti cannon into the air you may have a concurrent joygasm in your underroos.

Photo courtesy of

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, Međ suđ í eyrum viđ 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.

If you haven’t, for some reason, come across this group in your musical travels you should listen online, download some tracks, and watch them live. Custom cigar optional.