Sunday, June 09, 2013

Crystalline Sound


During high school and college, I didn't go to many concerts ... unless they were put on by the school. I think the only non-academic concert was Sting in Berkley, and even that turned into a paper for a class. Since Caesar and I have been together, though, we go to one to two concerts a year. Donna Summer, Dolly Parton, Peter Gabriel, Florence + the Machine, even Rufus Wainwright twice. Last night, we added an artist that I've wanted to see for a long time but never thought it would happen: Bjork.

She performed three nights at the Hollywood Palladium as part of her Biophilia album. The  concert itself was unusual, being presented as theater in the round. At each "corner" of the stage was a single instrument: a harp, a drum kit (and two Tesla machines -- I meant Theramins, though the stage did have a cage with two Tesla machines that generated lightning bolts -- AWESOME!), some kind of computer, and a large device with four string-laden pendulums that are plucked whenever they swing past a stationary guitar picks. Bjork took the stage accompanied by a 24-voice female choir from Iceland, and as they sang, video screens circling the stage displayed videos from her website that related to each song.

Now, I like the Biophilia album. But hearing those mostly acoustic songs live with a full choir, amazing percussion work, and the mesmerizing videos was intense. And she truly has a strong, unique voice that doesn't rely on vocal gymnastics. Plus, I had the sense that she enjoyed being on stage, singing and dancing. I thoroughly enjoyed the show.


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