On Saturday night of Outside Lands, Sigur Ros provided the crowd with a musical experience of a lifetime. Tucked back in the corner of the grounds on the Twin Peaks stage amidst a beautifully lit forest blanketed in fog, the band played one of the truly special sets of the weekend. The crowd was made up of mostly die-hard fans willing to forego the majority of the Metallica set taking place on the main stage. Even Jonsi joked about going to Metallica, himself, if he had the option. I can definitely say we made the right decision, however, because what unfolded was the kind of set that makes you re-evaluate the way you perceive and listen to music. It was truly a life-changing event, as I’m sure all Sigur Ros shows are.
As I pushed myself through the rowdy crowd of hardcore Metallica fans and made my way into the back corridor of the festival grounds, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was finally going to see the elusive Sigur Ros, a band whose music and sound is as hard to describe as it is beautiful. Whether it’s the use of a non-sensical language called Vonlenska, translated in English as Hopelandic, the complex layers of sound often played on unorthodox instruments, or possibly the incredibly unique falsetto voice of lead singer Jonsi Birgisson, it is undeniably a thing of beauty.
The band came on stage just as we arrived and the familiar opening sounds of “I Gaer” rang out. This was quite an opener and would lead to a set filled with crowd-pleasing hits from every album in the band’s catalogue, keeping the crowd more than pleased throughout. Flowing like a spiritual, glacial-paced tidal wave, the band built the 75-minute set into a masterpiece that culminated into a massive peak in the form of a set closing “Popplagio,” the final song on arguably the band’s best work, ( ). The emotion and feeling amongst the crowd was palpable. This show was otherworldly and something I doubt anyone in attendance will ever forget. A truly epic set of music, in every sense of the word. Seeing this band is something that should not be taken for granted considering they are coming off a 4-year hiatus and rarely play in the United States. If you ever have the chance to see Sigur Ros, don’t take it lightly and prepare to have your life changed forever.
SETLIST: Sigur Ros @ Outside Lands 2012 – Golden Gate Park
POPPLAGIO aka Untitled 8 on ( )