It appears that I'm really far from the stage, but the venue is ginormous. I was happy.
Last night, I finally experienced Sigur Ros. Sigur Ros was one of the acts that I wanted to see before I die/they die (Sufjan, when are you having your next show???). In expected Sigur Ros craze fashion, both United Palace shows sold out within minutes after tickets were released. I was out of the country when tickets went on sale (I believe), so I thought there would be no chance that I would be seeing Sigur Ros. Last week, I was randomly looking at shows on the Bowery Presents website, when I noticed that the Sigur Ros shows were no longer sold out. AND, there were good orchestra seats left! I quickly snatched up OO row (about 13th row) center seats, and tipped off brooklynvegan to share the wealth.
I was told that experiencing Sigur Ros would move me to tears. There were some tears, but not from being overwhelmed with emotion. Here is a tip for those who will be or plan on seeing Sigur Ros in the future: Drink coffee or a Red Bull before the show.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the music wasn't beautiful. It is absolutely phenomenal to hear how good Sigur Ros sounds live AND without any backing strings or brass. I've never heard them with backup, so I can't really compare the two. Jonsi's falsetto voice sounded almost unreal, which was quite befitting to the ethereal music of Sigur Ros.
The problem was that I was sitting in a very beautiful theater in the dark while listening to Sigur Ros. Listen to "Svefn-g-englar" and tell me if you think you could listen to that in the dark, in very comfortable seats, without yawning just a little bit. It's not that the music was boring or that I was disinterested. The entire atmosphere was soporific. Hopefully, I didn't fall asleep for too much of the show, though I did have to fiercely fight my closing eyes. However, I was re-energized when Sigur Ros performed "Gobbledigook" with the members of Parachutes, the opening act. Unfortunately, this came way too late, right before the encore.
My OMFG moment of the show was when Sigur Ros opened the evening with "Svefn-g-englar." It sounded so incredible that I couldn't believe that I was actually watching it live. Whoever did their sound check was truly good at his/her/their job. I've read some complaints about the balance of the percussion, but I thought that the instruments and voice sounded great. Go here to see a picture of Jonsi singing into his guitar during "Svefn-g-englar."
I'd love to see Sigur Ros again, in a smaller, standing-room-only setting. And, next time, I will be sufficiently caffeinated.
Sigur Ros is currently touring in North America.
Inní mér syngur vitleysingur - Sigur Ros
Gobbledigook - Sigur Rós
Svefn-g-englar - Sigur Ros