Live Report: Sigur Rós@ Mediolanum Forum, 17/10/2017

It’s a warm night, the one that falls at the foot of the impressive Mediolanum Forum. The half sleeves are numerous, they spin among  touts circled by the neon in continuous collusion with the serenity that breathes. It is the only date of the Sigur Rós, who come back to Milan after two years. Same place, unchanged feelings. Indeed, when this is the case, the wait keeps pace with curiosity. Yes, because the three Icelanders of our heart have prepared a two acts performance, equally magical, embedded in hypnotic scenery of lights that recreate natural geometries to intrude every sense. With a slight delay – a forgivable one, just  fifteen minutes – Orrit Páll Dýrason, Georg Hólm and Jónsi appear on the stage  with the usual, breathtaking expression of those who live music as if it was air to breathe and certainly not the craft of their own existence. Even if we wanted  to be objective, concrete- especially when we are called to bring all the feelings breathed during an event back- we would be profoundly fake. Partialness is all in deep love that the audience, full-bodied and attentive, pours out as a wave to one of the best post-rock rock bands of the last twenty years. A reality that from Iceland has learned to make bands such as Mogwai bite the dust(who, on the other hand, have never hidden too much their antipathy for the icelandic band).

The first track  is an unpublished one, which will be part of the next album, a letter that breaks the jar as it smacks in the darkness just like that acute accent that imposes its imposing: Á. It’s an opening song, it feels, probably in the album  will have a less malignant appearance. It’s a good song, and with great astonishment, but you realize when you hear the act of “Ekki Múkk” (Valtari, 2012) that the emotional jumbo jet is irreparably gone, and It’s  about to carry everyone into a personal elsewhere, so intimate that it is completely disconnected from every other perception. The souls listening little fancy, applauding only when  they should and only at the end of the show. The agglomeration of the payers is totally kidnapped, We are all there to hang from their poetry. At times the Carmelite silence is so extended that by looking at the ceiling, rather than the neon, seems to look at constellations.

A small slider in the melancholic attack gives Glosoli, a radiant and explosive trace that comes right straight from the airiest  album  of the band: Takk … (2005, from that was also extracted the song “Hoppipolla“, their most famous success, this time missing from the setlist). Some technical problems are felt, but magic does not cripple and the land of unbelief continues to persist. In just three elements, the men we see on the stage sound like they are a large orchestra. The battery is sumptuous, evocative, Jōnsi’s voice is an inexplicable prodigy of nature. And he’s the cardanic element that survives distortions, fairy-tale creeps (unrealistic? Mental?), Kveikur’s chainsaw solos. The Mediolanum forum becomes a cargo to drive us like windsurfers, our souls float, not one less: even those who embrace themselves, those who jump in loathsome, we are all fluctuating. The “E-Bow” deadly climax prevents anyone from mixing a cellophan between the heart and their music, there is no way: they spit without fearing any chicane on their way, whether you are crying or trying to applaud more strongly than perceived sound alterations.

Their next one that comes, as the natural continuation of the sixth album track “()” (Untitled), is  the seventh wonder, in a narrow concentrate of those thirteen minutes that merged give it even more shivers. The atmosphere is dark, the direction we have taken is clearly muted, the features are obscure, but they capture the attention as if they were caresses of sirens. Time to relax the atmosphere with the enchanted “Fljótavík” that the climate returns to cloud with two new songs: “Niður” and “Varða“. Two extraordinary songs, needless to say, but on the latter  it’s worth spending a few extra words. In Sigur’s modus operandi, by now, we know to recognize the jump over the hedge when it comes. That piece of Art is destined to become another special Pegasus to always bring in the repertoire to embellish every future stage. Atmospheres scattered in a sweet and daring piano plot hold the narrative to a song that triumphs at the first act, but it also drops as many tears as if they were brilliantly performing a deadly double jump back grouped into the Olympics. A breathtaking feast in the air gives the apiece of the second act, the disturbing “Óveður“, even more devastating in the live version than in the video one, when the equalizers are lacking to soften the sound impact. With a shot in the chest, with a sadistic and emotional vein, they chose to play a triplet that remembers, at the exact time when the wave on the led crystallizes the tension, that the ecstasy of living is possible without use of psychotropics. It has always been the unwise task of poets. With “Sæglópur” – “Ný Batterí” – “Vaka” the “Rose of Victory” (this is the enigmatic meaning of the Icelandic band) reiterates that sadness does not exist in nature so that someone from nothing can bring a capstroke to let his similar dangling from some beam. It exists because, as well as love and anger, teaches us to investigate our emotions. To understand them better, to preserve them  from any probable impact. And perhaps, after having understood them  better, to  stop declaring them every form of war. Once they prepare the field with the lively “Kveikur“, the finale is a classic for those who have been long time fans of these sound heroes: the explosive Popplagið is on the scene. A concentric return of anger and a desire to escape that is so insistently enveloped on the skin to be crushed as an atomic bomb and let every exasperation out of your body. You feel empty at the end. Full  and empty, in the same instant. Nico‘s “These days” in filodiffusion awakens us from the dream, and as never before we can be so grateful that this dream journey has been so true, carnal, debilitating.


First act
Ekki Múkk

Second act
Ný Batterí


An overwhelmed Captain smiling to his heroes

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