Two Nights of Sigur Ros
I have always admired Sigur Ros, a unique signature style that could only be hatched in relative isolation. Anytime a song would come across during get togethers, a good friend would offer that seeing the band live was one of the most cathartic and moving experiences, but the stars never aligned for me to see them. When the two-night stand at ACL Live was announced, my friend insisted on getting great seats and sharing that experience. The stars further aligned to allow me attend both nights, the first taking photos to be followed by the full show experience.
I have the gallery, I have the memories, I have the goose bumps, I have the memories of hugging friends at intermission…
Click through for a few more thoughts on the night some photos.
No opener. Long lines for merch. Austin was about fifteen minutes late showing up in mass delaying the start on both nights. An ambient soundscape occupied people as we hear the same conversations from passers-by. “First time? Just soak it in.”
While taking photos, I dropped my camera to my side a few times just to reset. Snippets of audio permeate, while cursing the lights that I knew would swell later after the first three songs we were permitted to shoot. I returned to the porch to glance at photos and perhaps take advantage of a review ticket, but when a friend said he wished he could stay, I gave him the ticket knowing I had the next night. I listened from the porch, editing a few photos for social. As an appetizer, I could not ask for much more.
Night two, I met my friend out front, we both walked up five minutes earlier than our designated meet time. We checked out the merch, ran into so many people, politicked a bit, surveyed our seats before settling in for the first set.
The stage is surrounded by bulbs on stands while strands of rope segment the different areas of the performance space. Percussion was focused on the back space, with the front three lined up spanning out to the flanks. Surrounding keys and synths stage right, additional instrument stations allowed for the quieter moments in the set to be a clustered group as the band performed seemingly for themselves.
During intermission, we again rallied with friends, sharing notes and superlatives. I was happy for the respite before hitting the back half that contained several of the noisier, bigger songs of Sigur Ros’s catalog.
The audience naturally follows Jonsi. Whether providing the vocal or bowing the guitar, the effort put into the performance comes across as stoic tension, moments of relief and stress on the pendulum swings as songs travel to their cathartic ends and this energy continues to ratchet up. I’ll share the setlist after the photos. Needless to say, I could try to call out one song or another, but I had been warned about the closing song “Popplagi”. It wrecks Jonsi. Absolutely stunned.