Tag Archives: 2012

sigur ros @ urbanscapes 2012, padang astaka, petaling jaya, malaysia 25.11.2012

After a day of relentless heat and humidity, the refreshing rain proved to be the perfect setting for Sigur Ros’ final show of the year. Perhaps out of place, they were one of the only international bands playing at the Urbanscapes festival, which from the outset appeared to be dominated by urban acts. Many of their fans in the audience had travelled from all over the country (and even further) to see them.

As the band came on stage to pick up their instruments, I felt I could finally stop holding my breath. The glockenspiel’s ethereal tune revealed an unanticipated beauty as they launched into the staple opener for this year’s tour, I Gaer, from 2004 album Hvarf-Heim with Jonsi’s distinctive voice overlaying the band. The backing brass, strings and choir worked well in adapting Sigur Ros’ epic songs for a live setting. And it was smiles all around for the band – especially Jonsi’s delight hearing the audience enthusiastically singing along to Med Bloonasir without any prompting.

Each sound that emanated from the stage seemed to be played in a meticulous fashion. As I was standing closer to the left side of the stage, I got a really good view of Orri, who played the drums with conviction – especially during Brennistein, introduced as a new song which had not yet been recorded. It was drastically different to the more ambient Sigur Ros sound in recent years. If similar to anything they’d done before, it would be the more post-rock sound of Von. The harsh, almost metal sound of the guitar and drums contrasted so well with the vocals.

This was followed by Varud, the only song from Valtari to be played. It sounded more beautiful than on the album, with the live strings and choir which really brought out the dynamics of the album, especially as the song reached its climax. Their final song for the evening was Popplagid, from ( ). Also used as the closer for the 2008 tour, it was still amazing to be in the moment as they slowly built up the song, as the stage lights flickered with the drum beats. The whole experience was quite visceral. At times I felt as though they had captured and held the audience’s attention effortlessly – both sonically and visually, the background landscapes and patterns moving in sync with the music.

Setlist:

Í Gær
Glósóli
Svefn-g-englar
Sæglópur
Hoppípolla
Með Blóðnasir
Olsen Olsen
Festival
Varúð
Brennisteinn
Popplagið

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Radiohead @ Sydney Entertainment Centre 12.11.2012

It wasn’t until Thom, Jonny, Ed, Colin and Phil finally took to the stage that the fact that I was seeing Radiohead live truly sunk in. They looked comfortable, as they launched into Bloom, the opener from their latest album The King of Limbs. The stage featured twelve LED panels which were repositioned in between songs, to great effect, in addition to the hypnotic visualisations accompanying the music.

Most of their songs were adapted for a more rock-orientated sound from their original recordings, with the help of a second drum kit. Songs like The Gloaming and Myxomytosis sounded drastically different to their album incarnations, retained their original punch.

Sydney was also lucky enough to hear a couple of new songs throughout the night – Staircase and Fullstop which sounded like a continuation of their sound in more recent albums but was well definitely well received by the crowd. It seemed as though each song received a lengthy applause, just in show of appreciation towards the band for making their way over to Australia again.

Radiohead played a string of songs from In Rainbows, including Videotape, Nude, and Lotus Flower, which was probably the first song played so far, which remotely resembled a ‘hit’. The impression that they were much happier playing newer material was immediately dispelled when distinctly familiar intro to Planet Telex was played.

This was followed by Feral which was a surprise highlight for me; especially hearing the vocal utterances live, layered throughout the song, not to mention the build up of bass towards the end of the piece.

After a hugely animated rendition of Bodysnatchers, they came back for the first of three encores, starting with the quieter and more subdued Give up the Ghost with just Thom and Jonny on stage. The band then re-entered as Jonny Greenwood took to the lead, bowing his electric guitar in a haunting performance of Pyramid Song, one of my favourites off Amnesiac. This was in stark contrast to Paranoid Android, which the crowd sang along to almost religiously.

The second encore featured 15 Step, then an epic, drawn out version of Everything In Its Right Place, with the repeating keyboard pattern building up as the band members left one by one, then came back for the final time to play Idioteque, finishing off an unforgettable show that was many years in the making for alot of people.

Setlist:

Bloom
Lucky
Morning Mr Magpie
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
Myxomatosis
The Gloaming
Separator
Staircase
Videotape
Nude
Full Stop
Lotus Flower
There There
Planet Telex
Feral
Bodysnatchers

Encore:
Give Up the Ghost
Pyramid Song
These Are My Twisted Words
Reckoner
Paranoid Android

Encore:
15 Step
Everything In Its Right Place

Encore:
Idioteque

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