by Joanna Orland
Sigur Rós can do no wrong. The Icelandic band has been around for over 10 years, wowing audiences with their ethereal sound and singer Jónsi Birgisson’s spine-chilling vocals. Seeing the band live is an otherworldly experience that most often results in putting members of the audience into a surreal trance – the music provokes emotion and self-reflection more than any other music I’m aware of.
There is something about their eerie sound and lack of English vocals that really makes the listeners withdraw into themselves. I am fortunate enough to have seen the perform live a few times, including at proper seated venues such as London’s Carling Apollo and Toronto’s Massey Hall. Those performances were the top performances I have ever seen to date. I spent the entire time entranced, near tears and just completely overpowered by emotion, brought on by their sound and melodies. Unfortunately I didn’t think Alexandra Palace was an appropriate venue for them to have the same effect as they have done in the past.
The venue was more of a warehouse and although the sound was great, it was difficult to be entranced in a standing venue with chatty drunks congregating around us. The spell came and went and of no fault of the band who were on form as usual. It’s a shame for those who haven’t had the opportunity that I have had, to see them in a properly-suited venue, because those were the best musical experiences in my existence. But to be honest, the band is just so life-changing that seeing them anywhere is good enough! Just a bit underwhelming having the past gigs to compare it to.