Last Wednesday was the Sigur Ros concert at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. Being that they’re one of my favorite bands, I’d tried getting tickets weeks ago, but it had been sold out since the first day tickets went on sale. Thanks to the good folk at Ticketmaster, there were no other options for finding tickets other than eBay, and I wasn’t about to bid upwards of $100 -$150 per ticket. So on Wednesday night I opted for another fun event and was out having a happy-hour drink listening to Plan B play a DJ set at a Parskid art opening. It was a good alternative, and at about 8:30PM, on our way out a friend of a friend happened to produce two unused tickets for the Sigur Ros concert that was going on at that very moment, just 3 blocks away. What incredible luck!
Arriving at Benaroya Hall 10 minutes later, it happened to be the start of intermission. The seats were orchestra level, toward the back, but a perfect view. And then the show continued. Let me just say that I’d heard time and time again that Sigur Ros puts on an amazing live show, and everything people have said is completely true. The performance and the visuals were just breathtaking.
It’s hard to imagine the instrumentation that goes into each songs when listening to their albums. There are the typical drums, keyboard, bass and guitar, but at times the lead singer was also backed by 4-5 violinists, violas, cellos, glockenspiels and flutes. All the while, the lead singer/guitarist was creating the band’s signature droning sound by using a cello bow on his guitar. The combination of seeing all the various instruments together, and hearing the organic swells of their songs, on top of dancing lights, and video projections was goosebump-inducing.
This was by far one of the best live (albeit half) shows I’ve ever seen. There are some videos from their concerts on their site and also clips on YouTube, but they just don’t do as much justice. If you ever get a chance to see them perform, I highly recommend it. Until then, check out some of their music for download here, and their music videos for Glosoli (mov) and their big hit, Hoppipolla (YouTube) which is also being used to promote the BBC’s Planet Earth series. What else has Iceland been hiding from us?