Welcome to a Celestial Plane

It seems as though the LA music scene will always pull me back in. The Walt Disney Concert Hall would be welcoming Sigur Ros along with the LA Philharmonic on April 15, 2017. This being my first time seeing Sigur Ros and going to the Concert Hall, I had no idea what to expect, but I was a familiar with their post rock work. Sigur Ros used to be composed of four band members but  due to a bandmate leaving there was only three now so it would be interesting to hear their sound without their past member. Originating from Reykjavík, Iceland, much of their lyrical components are produced using a combination of both the Icelandic and Hopelandic language making their lyrics incomprehensible to many. You would think this would create a barrier to people who do not speak these languages, but it creates a new sort of depth to the music that was very present in their live show.

The Walt Disney Concert Hall was one of the most spectacular venues I have visited thus far. Construction of the Hall started in 1999 with Frank Gehry helming the architectural aspects of this beautiful building. The show was to start at 8 pm sharp and there was no delay as elegantly dressed people filled their seats around 7:30 pm. While my seat was not the best I still had a nice view. Unlike most venues I’ve visited, the Walt Disney Concert Hall didn’t seem to hold a bad seat thanks to its architectural intricacies. No matter where you sat you could still have a clear vision of the artists’ performance, which made it unfortunate that no pictures or videos were allowed to be taken during performances.

The first performance of the night was the LA Philharmonic’s choir. As soon as the musicians took their place everyone in the room was silenced. Performing a striking set of 6 songs the choir put on quite the performance. The acoustics in the Hall definitely took their voices to heavenly heights. The complex layering of voices was mesmerizing as they sung not to the crowd, but to something else, something higher. Following quickly and efficiently was the their counterpart which was the symphony. Playing a compelling set of about 5 songs, the Philharmonic was worth seeing, but wasn’t what I was there for. That being said the Symphony made sure that they weren’t going to be overshadowed, after all they would be performing with Sigur Ros so they would have to match their fellow musicians.

After a brief intermission we were given what we came here for. First the symphony took the stage followed by the trio of musicians, Sigur Ros. The symphony started playing which seemed to queue Sigur Ros to take their places on the stage. The duo of groups opened with the track Á which was followed by 8 other tracks. It was interesting to see the trio accompanied by the LA Philharmonic. Although I have never seen Sigur Ros live, I feel as though the Philharmonic brought a little bit more pizzazz to the whole performance. Marking the end of the show was a final intermission. We returned to the stage set up for three people and watched as Sigur Ros began to close out the show with 6 more songs. While the Philharmonic was a nice attachment, Sigur Ros did not disappoint with their solo performance. A variety of neon lights and visual images gave the show an ethereal view. Vaka and Popplagio were two songs that really shined. Despite facing a brief mistake in song lyrics, Sigur Ros created a mythical atmosphere. Sigur Ros put on a great show and my only regret was the fact that I didn’t get to take many pictures. I don’t know if the real treat was being in the Concert Hall, seeing The LA Philharmonic, or seeing Sigur Ros. I do know that it was an otherworldly experience that you should take if you get the chance.