Iceland's revered ensemble deliver a masterclass in ethereal musicianship.
Words, Photos by Vanessa Caron-Cantin (@xvanx) at the Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley:
With a 41-piece orchestra and new album Átta (BMG) to boast, Sigur Rós boast an eventful and quite awe-inspiring summer carried forth by a string of sold-out shows across Europe and North America. The group's stop at the beautiful Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley was a sight (and sound) to behold as attendees basked in the foothills overlooking the San Francisco Bay with a soundtrack that further cemented Sigur Rós amongst music's most moving.
The regal performance spanned two sets, each of which pulled from an expansive timeline of offerings to please fans both new and old. It all began with the latest standout, Blóðberg, which set a melancholic tone early on.
The vulnerable and introspective nature of the band's craft was on full display with facial expressions, body language, and soaring melody radiating from the stage as a visual marker to it all. For as blissful as the setting sun and ambient lights were, one couldn't help but close their eyes to immerse themselves into the intimacy of the occasion.
Hoppípolla, Skel, and Untitled #1 & #3 among other greats made a grand appearance, welcomed by roaring applause and focus. Sigur Rós at the Greek was a performance few and far in between the norm of today's flooded touring schedule. It was impactful, raw, and uplifting in the most powerful way, leaving one grounded upon its conclusion. Though the tour may have now concluded, Átta welcomes new ears as a statement of the band's contemporary mastery.
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