Line Out Music & the City at Night

Friday, August 10, 2012

Photos: Sigur Ros at the Paramount

Posted by on Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Sigur Rós
  • Sigur Ros

Sigur Ros brought their own personal holodeck to Seattle last night to play to a sold-out-in-minutes crowd. Jonsi claimed that it was nice to be playing inside for the first time in four years, and the crowd seemed to agree. The flanking screens mostly played abstract images of vaguely aquatic themes, with the stray creepy doll mask, tiny silhouettes floating away to heaven, or drowning woman, or sparkling Blue Valentine style fireworks interspersed between spy cam footage of various bandmembers. While my notes include scratches along the lines of "that one that sounds like a submarine following a beacon to an undersea alien colony," "a sailboat being untied from the docks and finally catching a spring breeze," "sparkly elves having a picnic on the Hindenberg," or "the ones from () where they finally let the drummer put away the metallic brushes and go wild," the brilliant transcription skills of of some kind soul at setlist.fm confirms my vague sense that the show included a broad survey of their albums, with most of the bounceable tracks from Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust omitted, perhaps because they're not quite as good of a fit with the more contemplative vibe of nautical slow-burner Valtari.

I've seen the band perform many times and they still excel at making angelic post-rock mewls, warbles, and howls, and one great [post]-rock and roll pauses seem deeply compelling and audience members were hilariously quick to be the first to applaud at recognition of favorite tracks. Despite the meditative vibe, both the main set and encore built to pretty solid, loud, rock crescendos with aggressive drumming, Jonsi employing the old "attack the guitar strings with a bow (and/or sing directly into them", and the expanded lineup building the finales into pizzicato violins chasing trombones and bass lines (figuratively) into a manic fugue. Overall, I had only two minor complaints: (1) they didn't employ all of their A/V equipment to project the Jaguar Shark scene from the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou along with a live rendition of "Staralfur" and (2) that they didn't set up seats. As much as I liked swaying along in a giant penguin huddle, I'm not sure that regular jostling is really the best look for a contemplative vision quest.

Did you make it? Did they play your favorite hit?
A few more photos after the jump.

Jonsi, Sigur Ros
  • Jonsi, Sigur Ros

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One of many in the back row string, chorus, brass section
  • One of many in the back row string, chorus, brass section

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Sigur Ros
  • Sigur Ros

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Comments (5) RSS

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1
How was Julia Holter?
Posted by ratzkywatzky on August 10, 2012 at 10:23 AM · Report this
Megan Seling 2
I think "'that one that sounds like a submarine following a beacon to an undersea alien colony...'" is my favorite sentence to appear on Line Out all week.
Posted by Megan Seling on August 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this
Josh Bis 3
Julia Holter sounded good, but maybe a little understate cafe jazzy to warm up the Paramount.
Posted by Josh Bis http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Author.html?oid=3815563 on August 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM · Report this
Renée Krulich (Nay) 4
Your notes are the best. More of your notes in the future, please!
Posted by Renée Krulich (Nay) on August 10, 2012 at 2:30 PM · Report this
Jenny from the Block 5
That was my only complaint too. It was a fantastic performance, but not the best music to listen to while standing on concrete.
Posted by Jenny from the Block on August 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM · Report this

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