Monthly Archives: March 2013

Sigur Rós on the East Coast

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.


Kraftwerk to close Iceland Airwaves 2013


More Airwaves news today,

The lovely German pioneers of electronic music, Kraftwerk are closing out Airwaves this year. And for you gits that think a band can’t still bring it after 40 some odd years of playing, they just did their entire catalog over 8 days at the Tate Modern to rave reviews. For me, this is a great addition to the Airwaves festival.  As always, you can find the entire line-up here. And you can purchase hotel/flight/festival packages here. To learn more about Airwaves you can visit their website. And you can find them on Facebook as well.

It’s really tough to describe a Kraftwerk show, and finding video of it can be difficult as well.  So I am going to suggest that you check out the photos on their website, and I’ll leave you with Das Model, because, well…  the video always cracks me up.

If you care to, you can always follow my blog, I plan on doing write ups on most, if not all the Icelandic bands that will be attending Airwaves, as well as other Icelandic bands.

Airwaves is looking great, still one of my favorite parties of the year.

FM Belfast live at Great Scott Feb 28, 2013


As it’s somewhat of a rarity to see Icelanders gracing our Boston stages and bars, I thought I would write a quick review of FM Belfast’s concert at Great Scott last night, Feb 28th 2013.  The gig got off to a late start, and as people drifted in YDIMITU began their heavy beats hidden behind two massive strobing LED blocks set to retina destruction level.  Next, the ever cheerful keys duo Child Actor took the stage and played to a still increasing dance floor crowd.

With slightly less than 200 people in attendance, FM Belfast came out to stage with full force AND Mexican party favors:


Instantly the floor of adults became partiers and the fun began.  Dancing on an amazingly small stage for 5 people, only a foot up above the crowd, Árni, Lóa, and crew had the audience crouching low, jumping high, and bouncing around every which way ‘til Sunday.  It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen an American adult audience be so alive and it was refreshing.



“Are you ready to jump!?” Shouts Árni just before the instruments kick in and a sound wave of music blasts over a very hyper audience.  I’ve seen many shows at Great Scott, but never have I began wondering just how much more the floor could flex before it might give in.


I wish I had a setlist for you, but I didn’t think about writing a review until this morning, so I am unprepared.  All the classics were hit as well as a good amount of stuff from the new album.  And of course, the band did underwear, and lost their pants in the process. There was blending of songs, and improvised extensions to allow the audience to dance even longer. The only song not played I would have liked to have heard was Tropical.

But it truly was a fantastic show, made slightly cooler by the smaller, very excited crowd.  You can check out my blog post on FM Belfast, which includes links to stream their albums as well as links to all their pages here. And you can catch FM Belfast live at the Studio at Webster Hall on March 3rd.

Thank you FM Belfast for a great night!