Sigur Rós

Liam McGrady 08/07/2005

Sigur Rós are a band of very few words (their music says much more to me than any words ever could), and so I'll keep this suitably short and sweet. Last night I heard live, the songs that I've listened to and loved on dark brooding days; on perfect summer days; at 2 o'clock in the morning - through headphones - on damp, sticky nights. I heard jón þor birgisson's angelic voice (so amazing I was verging on tears) hit notes that didn't previously exist on the absolutely divine 'svefn-g-englar'. I heard him, cello bow in hand, tease delicate, lingering notes and drag great huge otherworldly noises from his guitar. I stood awestruck and astonished while orri páll dýrason's emotive, powerful and stealthy drumming on 'ný batterí' pulsed through the crowd. I watched spellbound, as the cellos and violins of string quartet Amina (who were also the support act, crafting heartfelt music from resonating wine glasses and squealing, trembling saws) swooped and soared, and filled every inch of the venue with rich sonorous sound. And then I went from ice cold shivers to warm flushes during the massive, furious, spaced out crescendo of 'popplagið' - a behemoth of thrashed instruments cumulating to make the most wondrous sounds imaginable.

Words though, can never re-create or describe Sigur Rós. Their music gets under your skin, it surges through your veins, its sadness, its joy; it makes you tingle all over. Last night they were extraordinary, breathtaking; exquisite, I didn't want it to end - because afterwards everything seemed pale and lifeless and ugly. For nearly two hours last night everything was beautiful.