On Sept. 30, 2013 Chicago's Auditorium Theatre, home to the world famous Joffrey Ballet, welcomed another group of renowned artists to the stage. Icelandic post-rock legends Sigur Rós stopped by the windy city for their second time this year. Throughout their 14 song set, Sigur Rós took fans on a multi-sensory spiritual journey that was nothing short of perfection.
Sigur Rós, now a trio since Kjartan Sveinsson departed from the group earlier this year, opened with a pair of tracks off of their latest album “Kveikur.” The slow building “Yfirborð” led into the album’s lead single “Brennistein” which sounded brilliant live as the band where able to engulf the Auditorium Theatre in sound. A trio of violinists, as well as a small horn section, supported the group both instrumentally and vocally throughout the evening.
Lead singer Jónsi Birgisson's angelic falsetto was almost impossibly good as he masterfully turned breaths of air into part of the composition during “Glósóli.” Using a cello bow to strum his guitar produces an aura of sound that helps Sigur Rós create an auditory experience unlike any other music group. The entire show was mixed to absolute perfection as the piano would come through at important moments like the beginning of "Hoppípolla" and all of the instrumentation blended completely together at powerful junctures like the climactic build of “Popplagið.”
Visually the show was equally as beautiful as it was sonically. The stage was backed by a screen that showed beautiful images of natural wonder and childhood dreams reminiscent of a Terrence Malick film. Old lightbulbs were scattered throughout the stage illuminating at any given time to enhance the moment and provide a visual depth to the stage.
After approximately 90 heavenly minutes, the show ended as Sigur Rós and all of their supporting musicians took to the stage for a collective bow. The crowd cheered and offered a standing ovation to the talented, versatile musicians. With that, the house lights came on and the magical evening came to a close sending the audience floating out into the night with the music of Sigur Rós still playing in their heads and in their hearts.
Sigur Rós: Auditorium Theatre – Chicago, IL Setlist