Review by: Andriy Mishchenko
Yesterday, I felt very lucky. I went to the Jonsi show, his first concert away from Sigur Ros. I’ll just start by saying it did not disappoint. If you have a chance to see him at the second show tonight (Apr 7) or later this week in Seattle, GO! I don’t want to gush too much over it but it was really THAT good. If you miss these shows, just pretend really hard you went and just listen to the whole Jonsi “Go” album for free online right here (use player below). See end of page for set list. Enjoy!
I managed to score tickets below face value just the day before. With a good friend for company, I ended up in 2nd row centre - somehow … That was a minor miracle, given the huge lineup in front of the Vogue (general admission for this show = first come first serve seating).
After sneaking some rum n coke cans in line, we snuck in all sorts of recording equipment into the theatre. Hee hee. Namely, My HD video DSLR and a fancy 4-channel audio recorder I borrowed (thanks, L!). Don’t get too excited yet, I didn’t actually capture anything worth posting.
My seat was far too central for filming the show with my bright white camera. As for the recorder, I McGyvered it in a perfect sport right under the first row chairs. I only wish I hadn’t set the rec volume so loud. I ended up with a distorted, clipped soundwave. I massaged it a lot with SoundForge, but it’s still no good.
As a consolation, you can play the whole album from this page. And, as a creative departure, I put my favorite track first.
Much has been said about the production values in stage sets for this tour and the great, taxidermy-inspired theme. The theatre company Jonsi hired to do the videos/lights/images/etc really knows what they’re doing. I really did feel like I was in a an eerie magical forest throughout; I’m not the type to get easily impressed nor do I have very good suspension of disbelief. I think that’s saying something for the caliber of their stage decoration. The racing wireframe wolves were spectacular, set against the intense delivery of ‘Kolniður’. The recurring owl and firefly leitmotifs were memorable as well. Those weird animals alone were worth the 40 bucks right there.
Of course, hearing that trademark alien high-pitch falsetto voice up close was icing on the cake. It was also something special to see Jonsi & co. really get into their act. They seem like a bunch that knows one another’s strengths and can play well together. Towards the end of the show, Jónsi got really into his persona and got all trancey on stage. His singing while rocking out in sync with the flashing waves of visuals in his crazy bird headgear, was something that will be hard to forget, let’s just say that.
The set was strong from start to finish and the crowd was uber-appreciative. There was none of that Vancouver douchebaggery - for lack of a beter word - that can and often does mar a good show. The cutest part of all was the band coming out after their encore to mirror the audience’s standing ovation. Then they came out once again as agroup to take a final bow - just like after a brilliantly performed stage play. Which this was.
Setlist (courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan blog):
* stars in still water
* icicle sleeves
* saint naive
* sinking friendships
* go do
* boy lilikoi
* new piano song
* around us
* jonsi new guitar song
* animal arithmetic
* grow till tall