Concert Review: Sigur Ros, March 30th, Air Canada Centre (ACC)

It might be a blessing in disguise that my iPhone died the day of the Sigur Ros concert. My inevitable crappy Instagram pictures that I was bound to take during the visual and audio spectacle that occured would have done the show injustice.

And my god, what a visual and audio spectacle it was.

Playing Toronto for the second time in eight months, the Icelandic group opted for a theatre configuration inside a cavernous ACC, which in result created a far different atmosphere then the Echo Beach show. Whereas the latter show was one where people milled around and chatted and treated it as a festival show, the seated and completely dark interiors of the ACC essentially guaranteed minimal distractions.

What resulted was the ability to completely absorb yourself to the show. Playing behind a scrim for the beginning few tracks, the backing visuals, silhouettes and tricky lighting provided for a pretty trippy experience, and I wasn’t even high.

On a side note, the kids in front of me decided they couldn’t last a few hours without the ganja and lit up a joint. As expected, they were kicked out within five minutes. Seriously, the ACC must be the hardest place to light one up, why even try? Say goodbye to your sixty dollar ticket, friend.

Much to some disappointment, the band did not play behind the scrim all night long and it dropped partway through the song Ný Batterí. My disappointment quickly subsided when it was revealed that the entire backdrop of the set was capable of visuals. The next part of the set saw the band playing to an aurora borealis in the background. Maybe they were homesick. Combine the visuals with the stage lighting, which saw dimly lite yellow bulbs (like candles or fireflies) on everything that stood on it’s own and for a little while, you really could visualize yourself in the wilderness.

The night played out as expected, fantastic visuals only outdone by the bands own brilliance. With a new album coming out in June, some newer tracks were played and surprisingly featured a darker danceable tone, with extra focus on percussion. Different is always good. Jonsi’ vocal work is just off the chart, his voice is definitely the x-factor for the group. It’s high pitches without being aggravating and snakes around the arrangements like a finely tuned instrument. The man can also hold a note too, as exhibited during the track Festival (I think he did the same trick in August). I wonder how long Jonsis can hold his breath underwater, probably almost as long as this guy.

For me, the highlight was definitely untitled #1 (Vaka) which still gives me goosebumps. Punctuated by one of most memorable videos of the past decade playing in the background, it is quite a moment. It’s too bad the kids in front of me got kicked out, because I’m sure this was the moment that their hard earned minimum wage dollars were waiting for.

So the moral of this story is, don’t do drugs,
at the ACC

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.