With the autumn just released, and as if it were a gift in the form of a OST appropriate to the moment, the Icelandic Sigur Rós performed in Barcelona as the first big concert of an autumn season that looks exciting. Six years after their last visit to the city since the already distant Primavera Sound 2016, the band led by Jonsi is presented without a new album under his arm (although with the promise of a new one in creation), but with multiple novelties on stage among which highlights the absence of drummer Orri Páll Dýrason after his expulsion from the group due to accusations of sexual abuse against him.
Jonsi, Sigur Rós, Lowlands 2016 – Photo made by Víctor Ramos Santafé for Indieofilo©
In front of an almost full Sant Jordi Club, the Icelandic band started their concert with the first three songs of their album () (2002). "Vaka", "Fyrsta" and "Samskeyti" were a perfect contact with the landscapes and melodies that the Nordic band proposed, respected to our surprise by a sepulchral silence that was only broken by the applause at the end of each song. It is also true that this first contact served to confirm our worst omens; Sant Jordi Club is not the best venue in Barcelona to enjoy the musical preciosity of Sigur Rós, which, although they sounded as perfect as ever, at times there was a feeling of attenuated emptiness that lowered the usual epic of the band's songs.
Sigur Rós, Lowlands 2016 – Photo made by Víctor Ramos Santafé for Indieofilo©
From there on, the trio "Svefn-G-Englar", "Rafmagnið búið" and "Ný batterí" gradually raised the pace of the concert. In the first one Jonsi showed an impeccable vocal richness, even singing through the pickups of his guitar, while in the second one the band shone with an amalgam of dark and uncomfortable sounds that little by little were trapping you under a feeling of persistent anguish. The light would literally arrive with "Ný batterí", since beyond the rear screens, it was one of the few songs of the first block in which beams of light flew over the stage perfectly synchronized with clean and crystalline synthesizers that seemed to emerge like a rainbow after the previous sound storm.
Then, the pace of the show dropped exponentially with "Gold 2" in which there were too many moments of silence, while "Fljótavík" served to show off Jonsi from the keyboards. The reduced version of "Dauðalagið" did not manage to be as epic as in its recorded version and to finish "Smáskifa" did not manage to connect with an audience that perhaps expected more forceful and accelerated rhythms after about 75 minutes of concerts. Fortunately the Icelanders have enough repertoire, so after the break they made it clear from the beginning that the second part of the show was going to go in a very different direction.
Post-rock became the dominant style after the intermission, with an incredible "Glósóli" from the crescendo of rhythms, "E-Bow" powerful and noisy with the drums as the clear protagonist and "Sæglópur" majestic from the sound interchanges between keyboards and xylophones, to end in a bacchanal of controlled noise that delighted an audience that now really enjoyed in a big way. "Gong" and "Advari" slowed down again the rhythm of a concert that was going at cruising speed, throwing a bucket of cold water on. Fortunately, Jonsi and his band pulled hits to bring the show back on track. First with the well-known "Festival", in which despite the general success with a chorus chanted in unison by the audience I missed that longer intro that is on the album and makes the final catharsis even more spectacular, and then with the spectacular "Kveikur", undoubtedly the best song of the night with a darkness and depth of sound that looked impeccable thanks to an unbeatable sound from bass and drums. There would still be time for Georg Hólm to join the vocals with a guitar in "Popplagið", perfect closing for a show that showed the two dualities of a majestic band, with one of the best live performances of the international scene, able to perform almost in its entirety that precious wonder that is () and at the same time satisfy those who want noise… Long live Sigur Rós and their live shows!!!