There are few live shows as escapist as Sigur Rós. Last week at Merriweather Post Pavilion, the three-piece took the audience far from the American suburbs to a much more solitary place.
But even for a photographer who has attended more shows in May then there are days in the month, Sigur Rós’ unique approach to a live show and staging felt refreshingly original. The show was split into two sets with no opener. The first was considerably more mellow and meditative, with intermittent crescendos. It was the glacial plane leading up to the active volcano. The second half was bracing and furious, with very intense visuals and unrelenting waves of bowed guitar.
This was not a show that allotted for an encore. But the trio came out twice to greet the crowd, bowing and clapping along with us, seemingly ignorant of the over-wrought American practice of “spontaneous” encores. It was endearing to see a band that, after having toured globally for decades, still hold fast to their roots as a group of musicians from a small Nordic island. Even after all these years, they still have the ability to transport their audience to that island.