Sigur Rós perform to a sold out show at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia

By Andrea Ramirez, Rock At Night Philadelphia Correspondent

Venue: Academy of Music in Philadelphia-October 7, 2016

 The Icelandic band that has been together since the nineties making musical history throughout their career were greeted with a sold out show at the architecturally breathtaking venue, Academy of Music in Philadelphia. The band consists of members  Jón Pór Birgisson (vocals, bowed guitar), Georg Hólm (bass), and Orri Páll Dyrason (drums, Keyboard) and they have built an astonishing following of faithful fans through the years. Sigur Ros was a must see on my bucket list of bands to experience live and I was very excited to see them perform for the first time. I always enjoy listening to their music, they are often one of my run-to-bands when I need great music to relax to while I’m running around doing a million things in my busy life.

Going by their musical style and their popular stage shows, I pretty much knew what to expect, an amazing lighting spectacle while being whisked away with the falsetto voice of singer Jón Pór  and his familiar bowed guitar sound. They delivered with their ethereal musical quality but I can’t help but think they fell a bit short of my expectations. Yes, the show was visually stunning, you can’t expect less from this iconic band, and after watching for a while when the magic of visual imagery runs out after about half an hour or so, my attention span seemed to wonder. I was surprised about how little the band interacted with the audience. The band members went on without any introduction and not much verbal contact. Their first three songs were almost completely dark sets creating the mood for the rest of the night, great for the audience but a nightmare for us photographers. Sigur Ros delivers amazing mood music, but live, they seem to rely much on the their smokey set and technical theatrics to entertain the crowd. On stage they come across as introverted geniuses who are afraid of their extroverted popular existence.

Their songs blend perfectly together creating what seems to be one seamless song and musically, they create beautiful art but I was looking forward to a bit more punch. I certainly did not expect that listening to them live was going to be such a completely different experience. Maybe I just didn’t get it or maybe I was not in the right state of mind or mood. My mood was not all there from the beginning when the first three songs we are only allowed to shoot was nearly an impossible task with the very little lighting we had. As soon as the three songs were up and the photographers were escorted out, their next song was an amazing  lighting display and I could not help but think of the great pictures I could have taken to give justice to their amazing stage show. A bit frustrating nonetheless but it comes with the territory. Regardless, my lack of mood last night will not keep me away from continuing to listen to Sigur Rós. They are synonymous in their artistic musical style but it is a band you definitely have to be in the mood for to appreciate them. They must be doing something right since they are always playing to sold out performances.

Set List: 

  1. Á
  1. Ekki Múkk
  1. Samskeyti
  1. E-Bow
  1. Dauðalagið
  1. Glósóli
  1. Smáskifa


  1. Óveður
  1. Starálfur
  1. Sæglópur
  1. Ný Batterí
  1. Vaka
  1. Festival
  1. Kveikur
  1. Fljótavík
  1. Popplagið

 Photo Gallery




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Andrea Ramirez Maciolek
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