Ugh, we couldn’t even sit next to each other on the bus. And it was hot, and humid, and the lady sitting next to me looked at me like she hated me, and then she checked her MySpace account (she was old – that joke was for my Millennial readers), and her knee kept touching my knee and making it hot. But I digress. The point is that none of this could make this event less than life-changing.
I have been a fan of Sigur Ros for a decade and a half; maybe I’m the old one…what’s my MySpace password again? I have often joked that their music is so moving, such an amazing use of seemingly dissonant sounds to create harmonic beauty, that, were I not already a believer in God, their music would convince me of his existence. And I’m not joking.
So when, four years ago, Sigur Ros game to Los Angeles to play the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (what a cool venue for a concert, BTW), I was pumped to go. I jumped online and got ready to get my tickets. It sold out in 4 seconds. It was insane.
So when I saw that they were playing the Hollywood Bowl (also an incredible venue, as you can see) I worked every angle I could to make sure I was able to attend this event. I signed up for their fan club, which would give me advanced ticket ordering options, and then I checked my credit card to see if they could offer any opportunities for early purchasing. In the end, I was one of the first from the fan club to jump online and grab my tickets.
Just like that, something 15 years in the making was about to happen: I was going to see Sigur Ros live.
Our seats were awesome. Dead center. The sound of the show was incredible, even with a couple of technical difficulties, which Jonsi charmingly explained in his soft-spoken, accented way. His voice, by the way, was on point for this show and was highlighted by a smaller band and fewer instruments (more on that later). All the old feels were there and I was reminded why I had, all those years ago, such a strong draw toward this band.
If, perhaps because of the long wait, I could be allowed to complain about one tiny thing, it would be this. Few of my favorite songs were played at the show, probably because only three people were on stage for most of the songs, some songs only two members were out there. Most of my favorite songs (Gobbledigook, Inni mer Syngur Vitleysingur, Hoppipola, Vid Spilum Endalaust, and Fjogur Piano) weren’t played. I think it’s because these songs generally require a fuller band and more sounds to make them sound right.
Because there were only three of them out there, they simply couldn’t play these songs. That was a little sad. But the show, even without the party on stage that I had always imagined, was incredible. It served to rekindle a love that has existed in me longer than I have even known my wife. It’s real, folks. So I will continue to listen, and continue to wait for that magical secret show, in the Icelandic countryside, around a bonfire the size of my car, when 40 people playing instruments of all kinds come together to create the kinds of sounds and melodies I have loved so continuously these last 15 years.
Until Iceland (or perhaps some cool European city), adieu.