Seattle had the lucky pleasure to get a tour date with Sigur Rós and spend a magical Tuesday night with the Icelandic band. Formed in 1994 the popular post-rock trio has released seven studio albums that have been supported by an impressive world tour list and the band now consists of vocalist/guitarist Jón Þór “Jónsi” Birgisson, bassist Georg “Goggi” Hólm, and drummer Orri Páll Dýrason. They are known for their delicate sound that Jonsi’s falsetto voice produces along with the binding between classical and aesthetic elements.
The stage setup for the Seattle show had all three lined up across the front of the stage, visible to the audience which makes it easy with a trio to do. The drummer didn’t have to hang out in the back dark middle as we most often see it happen. They took the stage at 8:30 and split their sets in two parts which had a break in the middle for about twenty minutes. We don’t usually get to see intermissions in the middle of a music concert so that was a first for me.
The lighting was mostly dark but the visuals of the show behind the artists emphasized the importance of marrying both sight and sound. That aesthetic was a perfect match to the moody music and soft vocals Jonsi provided. During many of the songs he played his guitar using a bow, something that adds to the whole ambiance of the performance so well. Their songs were long enough to actually get a chance to get lost in the music and to take a moment to appreciate what you were experiencing.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone that can captivate an audience without even speaking the same language. To be able to transmit a message through your sound and voice is a great gift and Sigur Rós undoubtedly has that ability. It didn’t matter if we understood the words that were being uttered, we didn’t need to. All we heard was the music captivating us more than we could imagine, not wanting to pay attention to anything else in the world. Truly an amazing experience to have at a show.