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FRONT ROW | SIGUR RÓS @ MCA

Sigur Rós is an act that changed my life – I’ll spare you the details but it involved Christmas in the city with my housemates, my childhood record player and Sigur Rós’ Inni on Vinyl that my housemate had carried around with him for years without ever opening or playing it. I added them to the top of my list of bands I have to see live in my life.

An ambient drone washed over the arena in lead up to Sigur Ros taking the stage. The stage was set with metal posts covered in LEDs creating what felt like an eerily industrial forest. The visuals at the start of the show began with a storm with lighting and clouds changing colours creating a world you could quickly lose yourself in. Minutes later lead vocalist and guitarist Jonsi, bass guitarist Goggi and percussionist/keyboardist Orri Pall Dyrason took the stage with a huge applause from the audience who have been waiting 5 years for the band to tour Australia again.

I knew this show would bring me to tears multiple times but second song in they played Ekki Múkk and I was an immediate mess. I was so overwhelmed immediately as Jonsi’s perfect falsetto and epic bow played guitar echoed off the arena ceilings and hit you straight in stomach. Act 1 visuals were otherworldly which is how I’d describe Sigur Ros musically – they equally create an otherworldly vibe visually. 

With the first few songs, E-Bow, Fljótavík, Dauðalagn, Sigur Rós took us on visual and musical journeys that brought everyone in that room together. The end of the first set that had the whole arena left completely breathless and overwhelmed as the trio finished with Varða. With Orri on drums taking the moment to completely take over your heartbeat with his drum beat that bellowed and bounced and vibrated off every corner of the arena. Jonsi let loose on guitar with his bow and Goggi’s bass, the arena was left in complete shock before Act 2.


 

For Act 2, the metal poles fully emerged from the industrial forest, tripping everyone in the room out and rightfully fitting Óveður to that scene. I’ll take this moment to thank the lighting designer for this show for putting on one of the best visual shows I’ve ever seen. The second set was just as powerful as the first, anyone that was worried about Sigur Rós playing as just a trio had been proven wrong. The experimental post-rock that Sigur Rós create was perfect in a venue of this size and the language that was created by Jonsi for the project shows you that you don’t need to understand what someone is saying to be able to feel the emotion behind it.

Ending the show with Popplagið, the post apocalyptic world they had created throughout the past 2 and a bit hours was coming to an end. As they finished their final song, most of the arena including myself jumped to their feet and applauded in disbelief of what we had just witnessed. The three walked to the centre of the staged and took a bow as a symbol of equality shone on the screen behind, something they had been very vocal about before playing the show. Despite cheers and screams for encores the only encore they gave was another bow, true theatre style.

Thank you Sigur Rós for being everything and more. I’ll remember it forever.

Tanya Batt

Make my own music under the name BATTS. Tea lover, whiskey drinker and over the top music reviewer.