I’ve seen Sigur Rós play a small bar in Park city Utah with half of us listening while the other half gawked at the Sundance celebrities. To now, their biggest show at Madison Square Garden. I’ve seen them in multiple countries more times than probably healthy and they’ve yet to disappoint.
The first of my two gigs this go around was in New York at Madison Square Garden. MSG was exciting, as there was new stuff and new versions of old stuff. It was fresh and-just out-of-the-package for me. That old excitement and experience that creates über-fans was mine for the taking, and take it I did. I was smiling ear to ear when Hrafntinna began, and really beaming when it ended, thinking, “this is it.. the new Sigur Rós, and it’s good, really really good.”
The new material is Heavier; gritty, dark, and raw. It’s rather aggressive and full of energy, yet it still has a very ethereal aura about it. And yes, it’s almost as difficult to describe as it is to read that first sentence, it’s much better heard than read about. The gig left me extremely excited to get the new album and hear the rest. I was lucky enough to see and hear Brennisteinn at it’s debut in Iceland, and at both gigs this go around. Here is the official video for it:
The Boston show was also great, pretty much if not, the same playlist as the MSG show. And while there were no lasers at the Boston show the vocals seemed stronger and more clear and there were less technical glitches, aside from the drum mic that blew up. It was a pleasant surprise to hear festival at both shows, as it was rumored we wouldn’t hear it. And of course popplagið ended both shows.
For this tour, Jónsi, Georg and Orri are accompanied by an outfit called the Okkr Ensemble. As hard as I’ve tried, I’ve found little information on them, the Okkr Ensemble consists of Sigrún Jónsdóttir on Trombone, Ingrid Karlsdóttir on Viola, Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir (Guggy) and Laufey Jensdóttir with Violins, Eirikur Orri Ólafsson on Trumpet and Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir with the French Horn. Ólafur Björn Ólafsson (Óbó) and Kjartan Holm also join the band as multi-tasking instrumentalists, Óbó primarily on the keys, and Kjartan on guitar.
The stage matches the liveliness of the individual songs, sometimes it’s just three spotlights highlighting the band and other times it’s a large concave screen that hangs permanently above the band interacting with the lights on stage, or showing scenes from old music videos, fireworks, or stars.
Sigur Rós is definitely one of the top bands I recommend people see no matter what they think of the albums. So much time is spent into perfecting the audio/visual display, and they have an incredible ability to pull you in with the emotion and energy flowing from their stage. If you haven’t seen them in a while you need to go see the new show as the new material really creates a shiny fresh energy felt throughout both old and new songs. I certainly experienced that old “YASSSS!” Feeling of old. Adding to my renewed sense of awe, I took a friend who had never seen them to the New York concert and got to witness her first time excitement. “They are really REALLY Fucking good.” was her quote in fact.
I took the photos above, there are more here if you’d like to browse, and of course you can find out more information on tour dates here. You can stream pretty much all of their albums almost anywhere, though I always suggest you check out Gogoyoko. And they are on Instagram, Facebook, and most likely Myspace.