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演唱會感想 Sigur Rós – Building Sonic Cathedrals City by City

By Charles Tai

On Tuesday, September 27, 2005, Reykjavik-based space rock quartet Sigur Rós delivered a smashing show at the Orpheum Theatre, in promotion of their first major label full-length release Takk (2005). Charles Tai, co-host of Saturday’s That Chinese Show, had this to say, after seeing the show.

Ah… Iceland. This desolate speck of land that forever floats in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean surely must have been planted on earth by some 4-eye creatures from Uranus. Its population must have been fed with milk made from the outer limit of the infinite cosmos. Its radio stations must have been playing encrypted audio signals transmitted from a distant galaxy. What else could explain the eerie lunar landscape found on this island? What else could inspire the extraterrestrial yet breathtaking sound that its people seemed to have the unique aptitude of making?

Well, perhaps these propositions were somewhat exaggerated, but one does not have to look far for a supporting argument. Sigur Rós is a case in point. Are they really just four guys making music, or are they here on a mission to put a spell on us so that their friends from outerspace would some day rule the world? Maybe I’m going insane, but you get the point.

Ever since the release of their international debut Ágætis Byrjun (1999), Sigur Rós, whose popularity was already massive in their homeland, was now vying for world domination. On the eve of their Vancouver show, hundreds of followers eagerly lined up outside the venue long before the official start time. Just by glancing at the crowd, you could find homeless-looking hipsters, limo-riding yuppies, and elderly season ticket holders all mingled together. Once inside the lavish chandeliered halls of the Orpheum Theatre, one could not help but be overwhelmed by the holiness of the event.

As the lights dimmed, Amina, the all-girl backing orchestra of Sigur Rós, stepped on stage to play a few ditties to warm up the audience. The group seemed to have transported an entire universe of musical gears onto the stage. Amongst the heap of foreign instruments, one could spot a shinny blade of saw, a series of ding bells, several gong-like string instruments, and a variety of violins, cellos, xylophones, glockenspiels and organs. However, few were impressed by their sparse wintry music. Even fewer were able to tell one song apart from another. Most people would agree that they sound better playing behind their fellow countrymen.

Joined by Amina, Sigur Rós kicked off their 2-hour set with the new song, Glosoli, behind a sheer white curtain, lit with mysterious silhouettes of the band. As the curtain pulled back for the second song, audience were greeted with the saintly figures of Jón þor Birgisson (vocals, guitars), Kjartan Sveinsson (keyboards), Orri páll Dýrason (drums) and Georg Holm (bass). As soon as Birgisson positioned the infamous bow across his guitar, the crowd knew they were in for a goosebumps-raising and spine-chilling experience.

The band played tunes mainly from both Takk (2005) and their breakthrough album Agaetis Byrjun (1999). Highlights included Ný batterí, Viðrar vel til loftárása and Gong, which the band stopped midway due to a faulty piano. Without a doubt, the pinnacle of the night had to be Svefn-g-englar. Here, Birgisson’s signature voice was even more impressive live than on the recording. The dynamic highs and lows of the song were impeccably delivered, as Birgisson cautiously draw his bow to give it that searing texture. It was a precious moment. The band ended the show with Untitled #8, last track from the 2002 ( ) album. The crowd gave the Icelandic sonic architects a resounding ovation, to which the band responded by taking two extended bows.

Regardless whether or not Sigur Rós have inherited genes from outerspace ancestors, one thing we can all agree on is that they make brilliant music. Their music seemed to speak a language that touches deep inside the tissues and fibres in all of us.

For more information on Sigur Rós, please visit their official website:

5 Responses to “演唱會感想 Sigur Rós – Building Sonic Cathedrals City by City”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Grogblogs emerging from France
    A number of France's leading wine producers have started blogging about this years harvest.
    Find out how to buy and sell anything, like things related to music on interest free credit and pay back whenever you want! Exchange FREE ads on any topic, like music!  

  2. # Anonymous Anonymous

    October 2005
    Timothy Noah: Santorum's Mighty Wind, Part 2. 09/27/05 David Segal: How Gotti Jr ... Illinois Senator Barack Obama looks at the lefty blogosphere's strident vilification of the 22 Democrats who voted to confirm John Roberts to the Supreme Court and doesn't like what he sees.
    Great blog! I like the way you think. I have a related anti-aging site that focuses on anti-aging psychology. You might want to take a look if you have time.  

  3. # Blogger FM 90.1【言樂坊】

    what was that???  

  4. # Blogger 快樂牛郎

    Those were spams, my friend.

    Fuck you all for watching Sigur Ros!!  

  5. # Blogger FM 90.1【言樂坊】


    you need to calm down man... didn't Sigur Ros also go to Toronto? you seemed pissed bor...haha  

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