Words by Joe Booley.
As post-rock giants, Sigur Rós are set to take the stage for the second night of their three-day residency of the Eventim Apollo, and the audience are patiently waiting for a night of two halves, both literally and sonically.
Steadily taking the stage one by one, the Icelandic trio kick off their first set with unreleased track ‘Á’, which sets the mood for the first half of the night. After a few gentle favourites, the band move into ‘E-Bow’ (aka ‘Untitled 6’), this is the first track of the night to demonstrate their truly incredible lightshow and visual display.
Before the interval, Jónsi, Georg and Orri steadily work through the more delicate corners of their discography, with tracks like ‘Fljótavík’, ‘Niður’ and finally to end the first set, ‘Varða’.
After a short interval the lights dim and Sigur Rós start the second half of the show as they mean to go on. Kicking off with the moody and industrial-sounding single ‘Óveður’, the band perform behind a screen, away from their usual stage position, and also from their usual stage instruments. The trio finally take front of stage once again after the piano driven intro of ‘Sæglópur’, which continues to build until a spotlight shines solely on Jonsi for an aggressive bowed-guitar interlude.
After cuts from the latter part of their discography, the band break silence and address the audience for the first time before their final track ‘Popplagið’ (aka ‘Untitled 8’). The 2002 track has been a staple closer for the band for the majority of their career and it isn’t surprising why. The 12-minute piece soars into a wall of sound with Jónsi’s haunting vocals cutting through everything until the climax of the track, where the band leave the stage to feedbacking guitars, strobes and rapturous applause.
Takk, Sigur Rós.