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Sigur Ros @ Quai Jaques Cartier: Tomorrow's Music, Today

Posted by Olivier / September 21, 2008

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Thousands of Montrealers descended on Quai Jaques Cartier on Saturday night to see post-rock darlings Sigur Ros, perhaps hoping to spite this website’s recent assertion that post-rock is not an engaging live music form, but more likely because Montreal is full of fans who know that the “g” is silent in Sigur Ros. Not since Bjork’s silent “j” has Iceland had a musical act with such global recognition, and with good reason. Watching Sigur Ros perform is a glimpse into the future.

As the world leaves behind the likes of combustion engines and plain old rock n’roll, in the future everyone will drive electric cars and listen to Sigur Ros. In this not-quite dystopic yet not-quite utopic future, live concerts will fluctuate between moments of symphonic pop that will blow your mind and moments of boredom that will have you checking your watch.

On the one hand, Sigur Ros’s immense talent makes Radiohead look like bubblegum pop. Their concerts encourage introspection and reflection that usually only certain narcotics can induce, though many concertgoers didn’t seem to want to leave this to chance and brought their own supply of reflection. Under the open sky of the Vieux Port, Sigur Ros’s sprawling soundscapes were particularly effective at inducing contemplative stares towards the heavens. As Jeda’s definition of Sigur Ros on the ever-authoritative Urban Dictionary states: “Half of the people will find them boring, while the other half will believe in god after listening to their music.”

Well Jeda, I was consistently alternating between these two poles. Perhaps things would have been different if I had been seated, rather than standing for two hours with only minimal musical incentive to move my body beyond an affirming nod. I don’t know if Sigur Ros is Icelandic for “bring a chair”, but it’s probably a good idea no matter how big a fan you are.

The catch, though, is that this is definitely a band worth seeing up close. In addition to intense visual effects, there are guitars played with violin bows and other quirks that make these guys fun to watch. The encore included a massive projection of confetti onto the first hundred spectators or so, and I got the feeling that those near the front were both closer to god and having a little bit more fun that the rest of the crowd.

In any case, the feel after the concert was one of satisfied concertgoers- those who could pronounce Sigur Ros beforehand seemed on cloud nine. And guys like me were content to know that the future still holds out promise for ecstasy from music, even if that ecstacy will be best experienced sitting down.

Picture from www.sigur-ros.co.uk

Discussion

13 Comments

G / September 21, 2008 at 01:25 pm
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It actually means Victory Rose. You just wanted a chair cuz you're lazy and out of shape.

It is the distant future, the year 2000. We are robots. The world is very different ever since the robotic uprising of the mid 90's. There is no more unhappiness. We no longer say 'yes', instead we say 'affirmative'. Yes... affirmative. Unless it's a more colloquial situation with a few robo-friends. There is only one kind of dance, 'the robot'. ... And the 'robo-boogie'. Oh yes, two kinds of dances. Finally, robotic beings rule the world.

Pre my post-rock post I didn't realize that post reading this post-rock post, which came post my post-rock post, that post-rock posts post my post-rock posts would give me the opportunity to write post-rock post on another post-rock post.

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S. / September 21, 2008 at 01:38 pm
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ladies: G.
andy / September 21, 2008 at 03:33 pm
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the humans are dead
Gabby / September 22, 2008 at 10:17 am
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Amen.
Gabby / September 22, 2008 at 10:19 am
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Amen.
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