Concert Reviews, Photo Sets

Live Review: Sigur Rós, Julia Holter at the Paramount Theater

Amber Zbitnoff / August 9, 2012
Sigur Rós the Paramount Theater by Amber Zbitnoff

Sigur Rós the Paramount Theater (all photos by Amber Zbitnoff)

Sigur Rós does not just perform live music, they create vibrant worlds. The dedicated fans that scored tickets to the sold out show at The Paramount Theater in Seattle last night floated in the sky, sunk under the waves, and wandered through forests during the two hour phenomenal set.

Sigur Rós the Paramount Theater by Amber Zbitnoff
Sigur Rós the Paramount Theater by Amber Zbitnoff

“It’s nice to play indoors,” Jónsi noted, acknowledging the bands current run of festival shows. The foursome of Jón Þór “Jónsi” Birgisson, Georg “Goggi” Hólm, Kjartan “Kjarri” Sveinsson, Orri Páll Dýrason accompanied by other talented musicians covered their great collection and new songs such as their opener “Ekki Múkk” were welcomed along with old favorites like the energizing “Sæglópur” and hopeful “Hoppípolla”. Jónsi’s poured himself into his extraterrestrial vocals, bringing chills to the skin while simultaneously warming hearts. The crowd slowly swayed to “Svefn-g-englar”, the music acting as a mother rocking her newborn child to sleep. I witnessed a girl crying joyful tears, while another man could not stop dancing, shouting and fist-pumping throughout the full event.

Sigur Rós the Paramount Theater by Amber Zbitnoff
Sigur Rós the Paramount Theater by Amber Zbitnoff

One of the highlights of the show as it always is seeing Sigur Rós live was Jónsi’s signature guitar reverb that he creates with the use of a cello’s bow. From soft draws to exploding madness you can only gasp at the genius at work. Mix that with Goggi’s haunting bass, Kjarri’s perfectly timed piano and Orri Páll’s forceful drums, and every note grabbed you by the face leaving you on the edge waiting for what would happen next. Not all artists can bring a room to complete silence mid-song (especially to the point that when someone gave a tiny clap everyone else hushed them) but Jónsi’s endearing spirit kept a few thousand people silent for a full sixty seconds.

Sigur Rós the Paramount Theater by Amber Zbitnoff
Sigur Rós the Paramount Theater by Amber Zbitnoff

After an exploding encore of “Popplagið”, the full band came back out on stage for a more than appropriate bow in front of the roaring crowd. A bellowed “thank you” brought an end to the phenomenal night, and sold me on seeing Sigur Rós live any chance I get. Trust me, you should too.

For more photos from this phenomenal show please visit the gallery at the bottom of this post.

Sigur Rós the Paramount Theater by Amber Zbitnoff
Julia Holter the Paramount Theater by Amber Zbitnoff

Julia Holter the Paramount Theater (all photos by Amber Zbitnoff)

Julia Holter opened the show, singing her siren songs to a pleased crowd. Her breathy vocals bounced around the room backed by a perfectly matched cello, and with the conviction she sang she easily gained a larger fan base. Be sure to check her out if you haven’t yet had the pleasure.

Julia Holter the Paramount Theater by Amber Zbitnoff

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