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Live Review: Sigur Ros - Spark Arena, Auckland (+ Photos)

Live Review: Sigur Ros - Spark Arena, Auckland (+ Photos)

Review by Fluffy / Monday 24th July, 2017 11:00AM

Icelandic post-rockers Sigur Ros wowed audiences at Spark Arena on Friday evening with their rock solid performance and lavish light show. The three-piece were enthusiastically welcomed back to our fair isle after more than a decade since their last performance here, but they more than made up for it by playing two ginormous sets throughout the evening consisting of tunes from their back catalogue as well as new material from their upcoming eighth studio album.

Rolling drones echoed through the stadium, acting as an ominous prelude to the performance while liquid crystals and magma expanded slowly upon the large screens in the background of the stage. Eventually, three figures emerge and a thumping rhythm begins to resound. Vocalist Jon Por “Jonsi” Birgisson’s trademark “Hopelandic” falsetto refrains filled the arena. Simulated vinyl crackled and a bow is taken to a guitar as ‘Ekki múkk’ begins. Percussionist Orri Pall dons a synthesizer, showcasing his multi-tasking talents early on.

Contrast in both aural and visual art are the name of the game here - the pure sonic beauty that is built in front of depictions of misty ghost-ships is sharply contrasted with a single flip of a pedal or triggering of a deafening roar of a reverb-drenched sample. It became apparent early on that like all truly transcendental artists, the full extent of their glory is only truly realised when their art is communicated in the flesh – no domestic hifi system could adequately portray such angelic beauty. Ear drums quivered and the earth trembled as if the cataclysm was imminent. To hear such an otherworldly cacophony emanate from three humans was to feel a duality of both divine artistic inspiration and an instilling of a sense of existential and creative apathy; what other mere mortals could conjure sounds so radiant and entrancing?

After a well-timed intermission, we were treated to the wonderful ‘Óveður’ followed by crowd favourite ‘Sæglópur', which inspired a wondrously encompassing nostalgia, conjuring up images of a childish innocence and being enamoured with a mysterious music box.

The only term I could muster to approximate the way which the stage lighting behaved, was three-dimensional. A veritable Imax theater of visual production. I was skeptical when I read band members claiming the show would be “like nothing we’d ever seen before” but it seems they were indeed correct. One particular lighting piece threw light in patterns similar to a kitchen sieve and vertical LED sticks at times made it look as if a game of Tron was being played by the sound waves. At another point there was what seemed to be circuit board wizardry, as it appeared that silicon caught fire and illuminated the amphitheater. It often felt that the trio appeared as angels amidst a city of light while on stage. In what seemed like a build in dynamics lasting the entire show, if not an entire life time, the music and lighting came to an almighty crescendo at the peak of ‘ Popplagið’. With a roar of applause and a series of stage-actor’s bows, the angelic three-piece had completed their seraphic task and were free to be human once again.


Sigur Ros
Sigur Ros
Sigur Ros
Sigur Ros
Sigur Ros
Sigur Ros

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Links
sigur-ros.co.uk
facebook.com/sigurros

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