[LIVE REVIEW] Sigur Rós @ Coachella 2013
SIGUR RÓS | APRIL 13, 2013 | COACHELLA FESTIVAL | CALIFORNIA
Seeing Sigur Rós live is always a somewhat spiritual experience, but this show is one I will never forget. Some people have religion, but for me, all I need is Sigur Rós to transcend to the almighty music gods. The setting was biblical, in the middle of the cold desert night, surrounded by the distant dark shapes of mountains with rows of palm trees illuminated at our side. In truth I barely noticed any of it as I was so transfixed with what was on stage.
Jónsi Birgisson stood amidst an orchestra of strings and horns, with Georg Hólm and Orri Páll Dýrason flanking his sides (Kjartan Sveinsson has recently left the band). The stage was backlit by a mesmerising video display, and clustered around the band and musicians was an array of lamps, who's hypnotic bulbs pulsed, flickered and flared in time with the music. All of this on top of the regular stage lighting which was brought in for the set's more dramatic moments. Surely this was all some sort of magical illusion? Was I DEAD?
At some point during the set, someone announced that R. Kelly had just joined Phoenix on the main stage to perform 'Ignition', this person was promptly shushed. We were amongst gods now, why would we care about a mere mortal and repeated sinner like R. Kelly? Unfortunately for some of the crowd, at quieter moments you could actually hear Phoenix's set blasting in the background, another mishap of the festival's first weekend, or 'trial weekend' as we were often lead to believe. None of these negative points were going to detract from the audio and visual feast set before us, as we stood with our arms outstretched to the wind and tears rolling down our cheeks. I'm fairly sure most of the crowd was as possessed as I was, moved to tears as Birgisson's falsetto vocals wavered along amidst bowed guitar and Icelandic, ethereal clamour. Everyone was fixed in a trance as he held a seemingly endless note during their song 'Festival', I was surrounded by gasps of astonishment and roars of applause, hugs and high-fives when he finally stopped for breath.
The boys previewed the title track off their new album 'Kveikur' which you can stream for free here.
- Sigur Rós stream new album 'Kveikur' online (digitalspy.co.uk)
- Sigur Ros streaming new album, announce more tour dates (brooklynvegan.com)
- Music Video: VARÚÐ by Sigur Rós (altrockchick.com)
- Iceland via Lincoln Center (wnyc.org)