Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sigur Ros (3.12.13)

Bisque took me to see the Icelandic sensation Sigur Ros. I don't know very much about SR. My first introduction was my junior year of college watching a music video that featured mentally handicapped people dancing to their music. First impressions, y'know?

Truly, I would describe the concert better as an experience. It stimulated all my senses--fog, a giant television screen with images and some itunes visualizer-esque film, tiny lightbulbs foresting the stage glowing and dimming in unison, and, of course, the incredibly instrumental lead vocals.

Photo by Bisque
I say instrumental because the vocals are what make the music the music. I mean, there was a symphony on that stage, which was lovely and all, but MAN, this guy (Jonsi Birgisson) sounds like his own instrument. So clear, so pure, so (for lack of a better word) pretty.

It was a big theatre, and it was filled filled, and that is saying something because you can't really sing along to SR. The lyrics (if not in Icelandic) are in a made up language mash that encourages the listener to interpret her own meanings. As someone who loves lyrics, this Hopelandic (the language) thing is not my jam. I own one SR album, and I use it as, like, studying music. If I'm bumping tunes, I want to be singing. Objectively, this is a fantastic concept, and I can see SR going down in the post-modern history books as a champion of Fish's Reader Response.

In terms of the lyricness live, I have to say it felt interesting to not be able to sing along at a concert. I've done it before when I just haven't know the words, but it was particularly strange to look around and see no one singing. There was a wild man in the middle of the theatre waving all his limbs around in a semi-religious tongue-speaking experience. So, maybe we just weren't doing it right.

It has been a busy week, and if there is a concert to see at the end of a busy week, it's SR. Bisque and I were basically lounging standing up. The pit provided room for a little dancing at a couple appropriate times, but was mostly filled with couples puddled on each other swaying. Every long day should end as such?

My favorite part of the whole evening was a song (and I couldn't tell you which, because even if I knew the album and track the titles are all, y'know, "HarvaheimmIceland" or whatevah) that was cool, slightly dark, mellow. The TV projected black and white waves crashing against the camera. There was something off-setting, uncanny about the imagery to me, but something attractive as well. In the moment I remember thinking to be grateful for the moment. I couldn't understand it, but there's nothing we can ever do about that.

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