Sigur Rós

October 10, 2011

If you know Sigur Rós, you know what to expect from this Icelandic outfit. These European innovators over the years have produced some of the coldest, coolest classics as they have plunged into musical depth with their mix of rock and classical sensibilities. Now this post-rock act give us all of this live with the post fall release of Inni.

The seamless production of this show’s set list gives this atmospheric act a concert of epic proportions. The ambiance from this 2008 gig is still captured three years later from the opening beauty of Svefn-g-englar to the closing fall of Lúppulagið. Recorded in Alexandra Palace in London, England, the sounds are so hauntingly beautiful and inspired the band may have well performed in a cathedral.

The favourite Glósóli off the top album Takk truly shines, while Ný batterí keeps this awe-inspiring performance charged and ever ready. Hits like Hoppípolla and Inní mér syngur vitleysingur sound even better when performed in their right medium of the live show. Still, it’s tracks like E-Bow and Popplagið (otherwise known as ‘Untitled 8’) that really can be heard at their most beautiful, sounding ready-made and cinematic with spine-tingling sounds and lyrics that don’t need any translation. It all feels so meaningful.

The band’s best work really is on display here, from Jónsi Birgisson’s formidable falsetto vocals to the beautiful bowed guitar and all its musical reach. This Ethereal Wave act truly evokes a spiritual feeling in the heights of their sound. This is something the studio captures but is really heard best in the acoustics of an intimate, inspired performance. The soundscape of a band that needs to come back together for a new album and one that pushes the envelope and can’t be pigeon holed, is captured at least for a night and now a record that needs to be in the collection of fans and non-fans alike labelled ‘essential’.