Sigur Ros' Kveikur Tour Made Us Cry (Literally) in Miami

Sigur_Ros_Concert_Review_Photos_Miami_2013.jpg
Photo by Monica McGivern
Check out Crossfade's full 46-photo slideshow of Sigur Rós at Klipsch Amphitheater.

Sigur Rós
With Julianna Barwick
Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park, Miami
Wednesday, October 9, 2013

We arrived at around 7:30 p.m. to a barely audible Julianna Barwick crooning to ambient drones and hums provided by a guitarist and her occasional piano strokes. A circular screen above Barwick played images featuring a girl in a dress floating underwater. Up close, her minimalist music, featuring a sighing, cooing voice that worked as a wordless instrument in the drone, sounded fuller. But those on the lawn probably didn't even know she was on.

We feared this meant the show may be a quiet one. Little did we know. Only 10 minutes after 8 p.m., the floodlights turned down, and Sigur Rós began with a quiet hum to kick off a sonic journey for the ages.

See also: Sigur Ros Talks New Album, Kveikur, and Losing Keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson

Sigur_Ros_Concert_Review_Photos_Miami_2013a.jpg
Photo by Monica McGivern
Check out Crossfade's full 46-photo slideshow of Sigur Rós at Klipsch Amphitheater.

The Icelandic trio of guitarist/vocalist Jon "Jónsi" Thor Birgisson, bassist Georg Hólm, and drummer Orri Páll Dýrason arrived at the Klipsch Amphitheater with three horn players, a trio of string players, and two multi-instrumentals who played everything from percussion and vibraphones to keyboards and guitars.

Sigur_Ros_Concert_Review_Photos_Miami_2013c.jpg
Photo by Monica McGivern

Everyone contributed to the beautiful din. Even during the quiet buildup of the opening number, "Yfirborð," horns hummed, guitars quivered, and percussion shimmered. Jónsi hunched over his electric guitar with a bow, sawed away at his instrument and sang hushedly. Dýrason picked up the tempo. Jónsi took it up a notch hitting higher notes and ending each line in an extended coo.

The song rolled to a crescendo, and Dýrason ended the buildup with a "whack!" accented with a throb like a giant bubble had just imploded. Everyone on stage turned back down to near-quiet levels. And once again, the band regrouped to push the sonic boulder up the hill.

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Photo by Monica McGivern

The pattern was repeated three times, until the true percussive assault began with "Brennisteinn." Percussion stands with a range of clanging cymbals were put to use while Jónsi bowed his guitar and strings soared to create a dense din. Musicians switched off instruments during three distinct passages of various shades of sonic roar. It ended with a solemn, distant horn melody as waves of electric rumbles washed over the stage, which was often clouded with smoke, but always lighted clearly enough to see everyone at work.

Sigur_Ros_Concert_Review_Photos_Miami_2013e.jpg
Photo by Monica McGivern

There may have been close to 40 incandescent bulbs on poles, attached to microphone stands scattered across the stage -- glowing, flickering, pulsing along to the music. A giant LED screen played montages of images familiar to those who have seen Sigur Rós' music videos. But there were also atmospheric images like twinkling fields of stars, gray waves crashing on the shore, and a slow motion clip of embers floating off a burning forest. Between the activity on the stage and the complexity of the music, there was so much going on, time seemed to stop.

See also: The Breeders' Last Splash 20th Anniversary Tour Brought the '90s Back at Grand Central Miami


Location Info

Venue

Map

Bayfront Park

301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: General

Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park

301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: Music

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5 comments
James
James

I've driven out-of-state three times to see them but I still long for them to play closer to home. 

chryppwonn
chryppwonn

I cried too.. and I'm also a guy.  Great writeup on an amazing show.

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