Breathtaking is a powerful word. To say anything is breathtaking is assuming the reader would lose their breath upon seeing or hearing something. But no one passed out at this show, and only a few nodded their head. The rest stood/sat still like statues, listening and absorbing all the raw emotion that emanated from Sigur Ros. Maybe they were gasping for breath, of that I'm uncertain. But either way, most watched without movement. I've never seen anything like it. Beautiful and peaceful, moving and emotional.
The show was an event. Giant curtains surrounded the elaborate stage set up. The curtains were see through, kind of like Lululemon yoga pants. Made of white mesh, that would later create eerie shadows, also like Lululemon yoga pants. The UIC sounded electric. Either the sound guy was amazing, or that venue has really improved since '89. That was when we saw LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, De la Soul, and Slick Rick the Ruler, all whom rocked the house, but with loud bassy DJ's that created an echo chamber of deafening noise. Tonight things were much different.
Every beautiful noise hit the listener in waves not overbearing, but lush and gorgeous. Electric guitars were strummed with violin bows creating a humming like distortion that enveloped the room, secured by tightly knit blankets of bass. The drums cut all 11 instruments with precision. Again, they weren't overwhelming, but they drove the songs. The horn section added little flourishes that fluttered just above the enduring falsetto provided by frontman Jónsi Birgisson.
I couldn't tell you what songs they played and which they didn't. For once, I just sat there listening to the aural pleasure unconcerned with anything else. My ears were pleased and so were my eyes. Brilliant videos made the stage look like it was moving up and down, and the colors were transcendent. A giant video screen ran the width of the UIC Pavillion, showing artsy, thought provoking images, that at times, almost brought tears. I would call it classical pop, on the verge of art. Classical music for the pop rockers' mind. I could go on and on, but I won't. If you like this band at all, see them live, you will be happy and fulfilled. If you have never heard this band, take a date to the show. You'll be to second base by the end of the first act.