Reviewed by Leo Kindred
Icelandic entity Sigur Rós, leading lights in the world of the genre known as “awesome”, are here tonight for the second of 3 nights of performances in London. This is my second night, which I’m choosing to review on the grounds I had to leave during the encore on the prior evening, and the experience being marred by a man with a fat head obscuring my view.
Famous the world over, millions have heard their work; even if you don’t know them you’re likely to have heard them on the countless film and advertising soundtracks that their distinctly ambient yet powerful music has been chosen for.
After struggling with a seating area (evidently designed by someone who considered being able to see the stage an after-thought) the mesh at the front of the stage glows with waving band of green and icy blue a lá Northern Lights and ‘Yfirborð‘ tenderly soars like the Aurora Borealis. The expert nature of the delivery at hand soon becomes clear, ‘Ný Batterí‘ pitch perfectly allied in sound with choreographed lighting and projection.
Vocalist Jonsí soothes with his high-pitched voice of thread-like beauty one moment, before unleashing a maelstrom of wrought, emotional power as he saws on his guitar with a violin bow the next; making for a once in a life time experience of delicacy and cacophony.
Much like their native land they possess the beauty and frightening raw power borne of an extreme nature, divided between the grace and savagery of harsh landscapes and unpronounceable glacier-volcanoes.
Time and again a hushed awe will come over the crowd like a ghost, only for the church-like reverie to yield, as the Nordic maestros build to a crescendo of vast organic power.
The lasers, big screen projections, the 50+ bare light bulbs on the stage amongst the brass and string players, all of which pulsate in different patterns or dim as according to the mood, bring the evening a full immersion, whether it be through the cheery ‘Festival‘, the broodingly powerful drive of ‘Brennistein‘, or the gorgeousness of ‘E-bow‘, all before the encore of ‘Popplagið‘ brings the house down in a devastating climax of loudness.
Sigur Rós, extremely loud and incredibly post- one of the best bands in the world.