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REVIEW: Sigur Rós @ Edgefield (Portland, OR – 8/9/12)

10th Aug 12 (Fri) 1 comment

PHOTOS below from Sigur Rós’ Tumblr
(unless otherwise noted)

Sigur Rós is magical.  This was my 6th time seeing them, and quite frankly, it doesn’t get any less magical each time I am graced with their presence.  They don’t really speak to me on a linguistic level, but they blow me away on a musical and emotive level.

The sweeping movements that scream, the melodies that bleed, the ambient passages that don’t go anywhere by going everywhere.  The playing with light and shadows, the simplest/minimalist way to make a huge f*cking point.  That is what Sigur Rós is to its fans.

Their latest album, Valtari, is… well, it seems more minimalist than their prior albums.  It came out in late May 2012, and I’m only a few dozen spins in.  I’m still trying to let it sink in.  It’s slower going than the first spin of Agaetis Byrjun and ( ) for me.  It’s not a hooky (bwahaha!) as Takk… or Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust.

Is Valtari anything different than I’d expect from Sigur Rós?  No, not really.  It just hadn’t broken through to me, yet.

Despite Valtari not quite breaking through yet, the anticipation for this tour was killing me.  I had last seen Sigur Rós in October 2008 (review at my photo to the left), and I had last seen lead-singer Jónsi (solo) in April 2010 (review at my photo to the right).

The short trailer for the tour based on the Iceland rehearsals and the tour opening show in Philadelphia had me giddy…

After a delightful drive up and bite to eat at McMenamins’ Black Rabbit with a friend, we hit the venue right about 6 and found a nice shady spot on the lawn.  Opener Julia Holter went on at 6:30 as scheduled…

She played a mellow, 40-or-so-minute set with her 3-piece band (unless there was another member out of my sight).  We were far enough away and the crowd was a bit restless; so her set was more of a backdrop to discussions, people watching and decisions on pizza.  I’d have liked to get into her music more, but sadly things were not conducive to that.  Since she’s from Los Angeles, perhaps I’ll get another chance soon.

After a fairly short set-change, Sigur Rós hit the stage…

This was my first time seeing them in an outdoor venue.  No fancy lights bouncing Orri’s silhouette off the walls, no starting the show behind a white sheet, no cannons of confetti blasting.  Some of the “magic” was missing on the venue side of things, if you ask me – but I don’t think any magic was missing in the music.

Setlist: an hour & 45 min

  • Ekki Múkk
  • Svefn-g-englar
  • Olsen Olsen
  • Gong
  • Andvari
  • Viðrar Vel Til Loftárása
  • Í Gær
  • Vaka
  • Sæglópur
  • Hoppípolla
  • Með Blóðnasir
  • Festival
  • Varúð
  • Hafsól
  • Dauðalogn (on setlist, not played)
  • Encore: Popplagið

Many times throughout the set, within 2 or 3 notes, the crowd was clapping and hooting in anticipation for the song that was just started.  I love that I live in a day and age where I can escape and listen to good live music that sells out a large outdoor venue.  It’s not just the pop stars & starlets that draw a crowd, and it’s nice to see Sigur Rós’ progression and success over the years.

The lesser Valtari-focus made room for a great mix from their catalog, and I think songs from the different eras worked well together.  Some of my favorites from the night… “Svefn-g-englar” leading into “Olsen Olsen,” “Vaka,” “Sæglópur,” “Hoppípolla,” and the show-capper “Popplagið.”

Despite always knowing that they’ll end the show with an epic 10-15 minute “Popplagið,” I don’t think I could choose a better song to end a beautiful night on.

~Tumblr-Rós photos from Seattle 8/8~

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more Sigur Rós – North American tour dates below.

Next shows for me… Kevin Smith & Scott Mosier Live SModcast on 8/17 (Portland) and Weird Al Yankovic on 8/18 (Eugene / Lane County Fair).

~Dan – np: TestamentDark Roots of Earth

July 2012
29 & 30 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Skyline Stage at The Mann
31 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Prospect Park Bandshell

August 2012
1 – Toronto, Ontario @ Echo Beach at Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
3 – Montreal, Quebec @ Osheaga Festival Musique Et Arts
5 – Chicago, Ill. @ Lollapalooza
8 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Paramount Theater
9 – Portland/Troutdale, Ore. @ Edgefield Amphitheater
11 – San Francisco @ Outside Lands
12 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Hollywood Forever Cemetery

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Sigur Rós album in the Spring 2012…

10th Nov 11 (Thu) Leave a comment
If you came here for the My Brightest Diamond (Portland 11/6) show review & photos, go HERE.
If you came here for the Puscifer (Seattle 11/7) show review & photos, go HERE.
.

Paste Magazine recapped from the Wall Street Journal of all places…

This week has been a big one for Sigur Rós with the release of their concert film Inni. But maybe some of the biggest news about the band, who has been on hiatus since 2008, is that they’ve got a new album scheduled to come out this spring.

As the WSJ reported today, the hiatus took a bit longer than the band expected, with several band members starting families in the off time. But the band started work on this new album when frontman Jónsi Birgisson ended his tour for the album Go.

“It was like coming home to see the guys again. It felt natural,” Birgisson told the WSJ.

WSJ writer Jim Fusilli heard some excerpts of the unnamed album, which he said “promises to be as exceptional as the best of the band’s catalog.” Bassist Goggi Hólm called the album “introverted” and Birgisson said the album was “floaty and minimal.” That’s about as much explanation as you could hope for from a group of guys whose best-known album is titled ( ).

Jonsi’s new solo album/soundtrack, We Bought A Zoo, is also coming out soon (Dec 13, 2011).

~Dan – np: OpethHeritage

Explosions in the Sky (due April 2011)

26th Jan 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

Texas post-rockers Explosions in the Sky come at us with their 5th studio album in April.  Take Care, Take Care, Take Care will release on April 26, 2011.

1. Last Known Surroundings
2. Human Qualities
3. Trembling Hands
4. Be Comfortable, Creature
5. Postcard from 1952
6. Let Me Back In

It was recorded on a pecan ranch in West Texas by their good friend and frequent collaborator John Congleton.  Esteban Rey did the artwork.  And of course, the proverbial… “the music on it feels different than anything else we’ve done before and we’re very excited for you to hear it.

www.facebook.com/ExplosionsInTheSkyMusic
www.twitter.com/EITS
www.myspace.com/ExplosionsInTheSky

~Dan – np: Ghost of a Saber Tooth TigerAcoustic Sessions

Let’s do the time warp again… (Jónsi)

1st Nov 10 (Mon) Leave a comment

So, another time-lapse video from Jónsi‘s Wiltern show in Los Angeles… this time longer…


Film by Henry Jun Wah Lee and Kim Reid

I don’t know if there was a special project to do time-lapse shots for this tour, but I’m digging it!  Nice behind the scenes, soundcheck and in-concert shots included.

Nellie McKay 10/29 Eugene show at the Shedd photo blog coming tomorrow…(?)

~Dan – np: MogwaiTravel is Dangerous EP

Jónsi @ the Wiltern (time lapse)

20th Oct 10 (Wed) Leave a comment

Cool new time-lapse from Jónsi‘s show at the Wiltern (in Los Angeles) by Wes Johnson:

I’d be en route to Las Vegas today for the show tomorrow… alas, it wasn’t meant to be.  Rassen frassen changes in work plans.

~Dan – np: Steven WilsonCover Versions

Jónsi in-store appearances

8th Oct 10 (Fri) Leave a comment

Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi plans to play acoustic sets at six record shops, part of his Go Closer series on his U.S. tour (previously announced here).

Jónsi hit Portland in April (review with photos), and I was going to go to the Las Vegas show (10/21), but am now not able to go.

For those who get to go to the tour or any of these in-stores – have fun!!!

October 2010 In-Store Dates
17 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Origami Vinyl
22 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ Slowtrain
26 – Austin, Texas @ End Of An Ear
30 – Asheville, N.C. @ Harvest Records
31 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Criminal Records

November 2010
3 – Chicago, Ill. @ Reckless Records

~Dan – np: The Weepies Be My Thrill

REVIEW: Jónsi of Sigur Rós @ Roseland (Portland, OR – 4/13/10)

14th Apr 10 (Wed) 6 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Jon Thor Birgisson aka “Jónsi” has a majestic voice and a penchant for clever, extravagant, and utterly gorgeous stage show that converts the already beautiful music into something worthy of an art exhibit.  His voice is well known in the indie rock scene via his long history bringing the enigmatic Sigur Rós to our shores/ears.

Sigur Rós is on a hiatus while many of the members’ families welcome new children into their lives; so Jónsi decided to follow-up his last album (Riceboy Sleeps with his partner Alex) with a “solo acoustic album.”  That “solo acoustic” album morphed into what became GO, a not-so-acoustic album.  Go fits in with the most recent Sigur Rós album (Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust).   It’s a “more accessible rock” affair full of the ideals, quirks, and high quality craftsmanship we’ve come to expect.

That high quality craftsmanship shows in Jónsi’s decision to bring in 59 Productions to work up his tour stage.  If I wasn’t sold on going to see Jónsi before, the lead-up to the show was almost unbearable after seeing the 59 Productions behind the scenes video.  More on that later… first, the opener…

Death Vessel (aka Joel Thibodeau) hit the stage around 8 and played a 35 minute set (6-7 songs).  His songs were gentle acoustic numbers, and his voice reminded me a lot of the late Jeff Hanson (nice falsetto).  The crowd seemed a little restless near the end, but I thought Death Vessel put out an enjoyable set.

Jónsi went on right at 9pm and started the show with just an acoustic guitar solo tune, Stars in Still Water.  Shortly thereafter the band joined him and the stage show began.  The walls and projectors played for about half of the songs in the set, and ranged from butterflies, to other animals, to a rainstorm that turned into a flood.  Some of the coolest effects were the burning stage-pieces early on, as well as the water flood.  It was quite astonishing how well done everything was… and it didn’t take away from the music at all.

Setlist: ~85 minutes

  • Stars in Still Water (solo)
  • Hengilás
  • Icicle Sleeves (K14 or Red Bicycle)
  • Kolniður
  • Tornado
  • Saint Naive (K7)
  • Sinking Friendships
  • Go Do
  • Boy Lilikoi
  • K12
  • New Piano Song (K365)
  • Around Us (with acoustic piano intro)
  • Encore: Jonsi New Guitar Song
  • Animal Arithmetic (Jonsi donned a colorful headdress)
  • Grow Till Tall

The fave songs of the night were Tornado, Go Do, Boy Lilikoi & Grow Till Tall – as those were the ones that resonate with me the most from the record.  All in all, it was an utterly superb show, and it ranks easily in my favorite shows ever (which includes many Sigur Rós shows, too).  The stage, the songs, the voice, the beauty… I hope Jónsi comes back through soon – either solo or with his “main band.”

Speaking of bands… the band members for Jónsi’s solo tour are Alex Somers on guitar, Úlfur Hansson on bass, þorvaldur þorvaldsson on drums and Ólafur Björn Ólafsson on piano

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

OK, I’m off for a while… if you comment, sorry if I won’t/can’t  respond (or potentially be able to approve comments) for a bit.  Anyway, for those of you who are going to one of the upcoming dates, have fun.  It is an AMAZING show.  Check out more tour dates below.

~Dan – np: Derek WebbStockholm Syndrome

JÓNSI (from Sigur Rós) & DEATH VESSEL PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Higher Resolution (8 pics)

Limited to 1200 pixels wide or tall (5 DV, 27 Jónsi pics)

2010 North American Tour Dates

  • april 6 vancouver, canada vogue theatre
  • april 7 vancouver, canada vogue theatre
  • april 9 seattle, wa the showbox sodo
  • april 10 seattle, wa the showbox sodo
  • april 13 portland, or roseland theatre
  • april 15 berkeley, ca zellerbach auditorium
  • april 16 san francisco, ca palace of fine arts
  • april 18 indio, ca coachella
  • april 21 denver, co paramount theatre
  • april 22 lawrence, ks liberty hall
  • april 24 minneapolis, mn pantages theatre
  • april 25 minneapolis, mn pantages theatre
  • april 26 milwaukee, wi the pabst theatre
  • april 27 chicago, il vic theatre
  • april 28 chicago, il vic theatre
  • april 30 toronto, canada sound academy
  • may 1 toronto, canada sound academy
  • may 2 montreal, canada metropolis
  • may 3 philadelphia, pa electric factory
  • may 5 boston, ma house of blues
  • may 6 boston, ma house of blues
  • may 8 new york, ny terminal 5
  • may 9 new york, ny terminal 5
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