Sigur Rós, Auditorium Theatre, Chicago

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Sigur Rós brings two full sets and an amazing light show to the Auditorium Theatre.

The trio took stage with high anticipation from the crowd.

Sigur Rós started the night off with some slower, softer songs.  They opened the set with ‘Á’ which is a newer unreleased track.  The audience watched in awe as the mood for the evening was set.  The band managed the emotion in the room through their song choices.  Going from a more quiet vibe to a little muddy and heavier sound was repeated throughout the night.

Frontman Jónsi Birgisson carried us through an ethereal world with his unbelievable falsetto voice.  Pairing his voice and the flourish of his bow across the harsh strings of an electric guitar provide chilling shrieks and unheard of warmth that spurs chills to your core.  Georg Hólm delivered his own form of warmth.  Spacing notes carefully he lead one into another and kept the audience in anticipation for the next planned heartbeat of his bass.  Georg manages to capture the true meaning of the bass guitar by creating necessary melody that continually drives and creates the song as it goes on.  Not only is he able to create slow paced thought provoking bass runs, he can drive and generate am electronic fire that burns as he attacks his instrument.  Rounding off the trio – Orri Páll Dýrason held it down on the drums and keyboard.  Orri’s drumming is near perfection.  He never misses a beat and consistently magnifies the epic highs and deep swelling lows of their music.

As the night went on I sat in awe and gazed at the visuals while listening to the music mend together to form an experience unlike any other.  This was my first time seeing Sigur Rós live.  I have listened to most of their music in the past at some point, but I never fully knew what to expect in person.  Their music has the ability to reach into your soul and transform you.  For me, there is only a short list of bands capable of doing that and glad I was there to experience this rare opportunity.  As mentioned the band played two full sets with a short intermission between.  They played songs spanning their entire career including some new material.  My highlights for the evening were ‘Vaka’ and ‘Popplagið.’  I heard Vaka for the first time around 12 years ago and instantly fell in love with it.  So getting to hear it live was a special treat.  The band ended the night with ‘Popplagið’.  This song has so much built into it and the light show accompanying it was some of the best work I have ever seen.  The builds and heavy swells matched with Jónsi’s incredible voice filled the room with insatiable thirst for more.  Sigur Rós left the stage.They came back out twice to take a group bow and end the night.

One thing I want to leave you with.  I was walking back in to my seat from taking photos and was stopped by the usher.  We had met earlier in the night and she wanted to ask me a question.  Not knowing that Sigur Rós sings in Icelandic/Hopelandic she knew she couldn’t understand it, but she asked me if their songs were about love.  She said she never heard them before, but the feeling she came away with from their music was love.  I find it inspiring that music that someone has never heard can create a sense of feeling by listening to it.  I certainly listen to music because of the feelings/emotions I get from it and am happy to see Sigur Rós had this effect on this woman.

You can find their set lists below and Spotify links to Set One – Here and Set Two – Here.  They have dozens more shows coming up this year including some super intimate shows in Iceland in December.  If you find yourself in need of a special treat for the holidays I would add this to the bucket list.

Set One

  • Á
  • Ekki Múkk
  • Glósóli
  • E-Bow
  • Dauðalagið
  • Fljótavík
  • Niður
  • Varða

Set Two

  • Óveður
  • Sæglópur
  • Ný Batterí
  • Vaka
  • Festival
  • Kveikur
  • Popplagið
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