On Friday night, hundreds of fans witnessed the pure magic of Sigur Rós.
San Diego was the third US stop for the three-piece Icelandic trio. With a string of intimate venues and concerts lined up, the band is experimenting with new music and dusting off old favorites like “Starálfur” and “E-Bow.”
Highlights of the show included the lead singer Jónsi’s solo during “Festival,” the genius set design and the overall feel of sitting in San Diego’s Copley Symphony Hall. Surrounded by Jónsi’s vocals, with the reflection of lights and colors on the venue walls, it was an incredible concert experience.
During intermission, a couple behind me asked each other what their favorite Sigur Rós songs were. Both laughed because neither of them could pronounce the names of the songs. You don’t necessarily need to know what Sigur Rós is singing about to understand the music. Even Jónsi’s sometimes gibberish sounding lyrics fit the feeling of the music. He sings in Icelandic as well as an invented language accurately dubbed “Hopelandic.”
When you think Sigur Rós, rock and roll might not come to mind. But the band delicately wove in heavy, raw material with lighter, more upbeat songs to create a wholly immersive experience for the audience. Towards the end of the set, the drummer, Orri, took off his shirt, head banged while cracking the snare. Even though everyone in the audience wanted to get up to move to the music, we all just sat in awe (except for one brave soul!) and soaked up the other-worldliness of this legendary band.