Never close your eyes while listening to Sigur Rós.
Even at intense volume, the music of Sigur Rós can lull a person into an R.E.M. state.
Unfortunately, I had to close my eyes many times during the band’s performance at Bass Concert Hall on Feb. 26. The lighting engineer thought it was a good idea to shine bright intense lights into the audience for long periods of time.
An occassion flash to the audience is all right, but blinding them so they can’t even see the concert is a terrible choice.
I started developing a headache because of the lighting, and when I decided to sacrifice watching the concert for listening to it instead, I started to drift off.
I didn’t want to yawn at a Sigur Rós concert, but I did.
Oddly enough, I described Takk … as "seeing angels burst in a flash of blinding bright light everywhere." I didn’t want to be taken literally.
Had I been allowed to enjoy the performance, I probably would have been deeply moved by the music. The opening numbers, "Takk …" and "Glossoli", nearly brought me to tears. (And the lighting shennanigans hadn’t yet become obnoxious.)
The band concentrated on songs from Takk … and (), the latter of which is not my favorite Sigur Rós album. Those were the tracks where I started to lose interest.
Still, it was an impressive show.
I always thought the band’s distinctive guitar sound was produced with an E-Bow, but singer/guitarist Jonsi uses an actual violin bow, dragging it across the strings to produce that cavernous sound.
Jonsi’s stratospheric vocals requires no Pro Tools manipulation — he really can reach those high notes.
I had my earplugs on the whole time, but even with my ear prophyllactics in place, I could tell it was one damn loud concert. As soothing as Sigur Rós’ music is, it can get violent, as the encore of the last untitled track from () ably demonstrated.
When the lighting wasn’t pissing me off, it was actually beautifully done, lock in step with the band’s dynamic music.
In all, it was a great show, albeit annoying not because of anything the band did.