Saturday, October 4, 2008

Concert review = Sigur Ros @ Greek Theatre, Berkeley, 10/3/08

Sigur Ros boasts an impressive resume - the world's best (post-) rock band, the foremost reason for Iceland's exploding tourism, and, to boot, the sole purveyors of Hopelandic soundscapes the world over. And that's not to mention the presence of arguably the most unique frontman in contemporary music, "Jonsi" Birgisson (he of the alien-falsetto and e-bow guitar).

After last night's performance at UC Berkeley's Greek Theatre, the band could also add "masters of the elements" to their list of credits.

The first impending rainstorm of the season in Northern CA threatened to strike during the band's performance - which it did. However, in a startlingly eerie "coincidence," the raindrops held out until the band's single-song-encore - directly at the point of transition in their magnum opus, "Popplagið." Concertgoers at the sold out Greek roared their approval. The packed-to-the-gills crowd's agreement was unanimous - if ever there was a moment at which to get drenched, this was it.

Falsely modest, Sigur Ros neglected to take credit for the cloudburst - but most everyone knew otherwise.

The band's 14 song setlist was a generous mixture from each of the band's five full length albums, with just five songs from their newest album, Með suð i eyrum við spilum endalaust ["With a buzz in our ears we play endlessly"]. Of these, the band was at its best during "Festival," though they were at their most rambunctious during the regular set's closer, "Gobbledigook," during which they brought on stage a bevy of guest drummers.

Other highlights of the evening included the opening song, "Svefn-g-englar" (from their second album, Agaetis byrjun), "E-bow" (aka "Untitled #6" from their album ( ) ), and "Hafssol" (from their debut album Von, though a different version of the song has appeared in more recent compilations). Following that song, the usually taciturn Jonsi charmingly told the crowd, "We're having a lot of fun here." Jonsi had earlier requested audience interaction during their dual Takk... songs "Hoppipolla" and "Með bloðnasir," playfully reassuring the crowd that, "We can sing an octave lower if it's easier for you."

Which you can watch below:

Sigur Ros head now to the Pacific Northwest (presumably with more rain), and then continue on to Japan and Europe with the remainder of their 2008 tour.


Anonymous said...

"masters of the elements" wow, could you be more pretentious! or maybe you are icelandic. if that's the case, you have an excuse for the hyperbole. otherwise, get over yourself as this "review" exudes your obvious fanaticism for this band. it was a decent show with moments of brilliance often clouded over with monotonous reptition. and, certainly the band had no relationship with the weather...geez.

Dustin said...

@ Anonymous

While not Icelandic, I like this band a lot, yes. If you found that the show was "clouded over with monotonous repitition," well, that's your opinion. If you think I honestly believe that Sigur Ros controls the elements, you're out of your skull. Lighten up, idiot.

Anonymous said...

I agree Dustin, some dipshits out there just take everything a little to literally. It was a magnificent show and the rain thing made all the more otherworldly.

Dustin said...

@ Second anonymous

Thanks for seconding my opinion!

Anonymous said...

Of course they were masters of the elements in that moment. It was a perfect coincidence...a brilliant synchronicity. There's nothing about fanaticism in any of your words. If anyone things Sigur Ros is monotonous or repetitive, they are not paying attention. Thank you for your review that I happened to stumble upon while googling the concert.

postymcposterton said...

What's with all these Anon posters? :)

Anyway, great review. I'm stoked about tomorrow's Portland show. I'll have my review up by Tuesday night and pictures by the weekend.


bodo said...

@ Anon #1

Are you fucking retarded? The guy plays electric cello/guitar on a Les Paul while singing in the 6th octave. Pretty sure that qualifies him for master of the elements you sick fuck. Also the fucking clouds were ready to blow their load any second and as I'm sure you know Mr. Highbrow it IS possible to disturb barometric pressure with sound waves.


Dustin said...

@ postymcposteron

Thanks for your compliment - I look forward to reading your review and seeing the band's setlist. I'll have to look up their Seattle one later tonight, too.


Dustin said...

@ Bodo

And I thought I was passionate. ;-)

#1Twin said...

Thanks for the review. I found a wonderful video of Hoppipolla. Here's the link