Sigur Rós | The Auditorium, Rome | 12 July, 2008

Sigur Rós
Originally uploaded by fanny_
From the moment that Icelandic band Sigur Rós walked on stage and the opening notes of Svefn-G-Englar floated into the air above the Auditorium in Rome last night it seemed that more so perhaps than any other performer I've seen play there, here was a band whose music seemed made to be heard in that venue with its perfect acoustics. For those of you who have never been there, Renzo Piano's extraordinary design houses the three main theatres in insect-like pods so the whole effect is part organic, part other worldly, with those pods grouped around an open-air amphitheatre – the Cavea. Even the simple yet ethereal stage design set seemed perfectly attuned to the setting – a series of balloons hung like seven moons at the back of the stage.

A sell out concert - less fortunate fans were sitting just outside the entrance to listen - this was a stunning spectacle in every way. The four men moved around the stage playing glockenspiels to keyboards to percussion, as well as the electric guitar played with a cello bow, and were joined by an all woman string quartet and five piece brass band (who first marched on stage in a wonderful moment of showmanship as an interlude during Se Lest) with Jónsi Birgisson's extraordinary falsetto being the glue which somehow held the eclectic musical strands together into a wonderful whole.

When the audience were invited to get to their feet and clap during the pre-encore finale Gobbledigook I honestly believe that every single person was out of their seat and clapping and stamping their feet – and continued applauding till the band reappeared for a stunning encore closing the show with Popplagið (Untitled 8) – and then we applauded even louder and longer till the entire cast of players reappeared and took their bows. And yet after two hours of music the audience still wanted more and weren't happy till Sigur Rós came out one more time to take yet another curtain call. Unmissable.


Anonymous said…
i missed the concert in vienna. they are so unique, a have to see in your life band.