Oct 292005

Sigur Rós behind a curtain
Saw Sigur Rós on their Takk-promoting tour in Kulttuuritalo.

Seppo scored tickets long past the sold-out date and set me up with one. Nice going.

Was very very unfamiliar with the band’s output before the concert. Had heard the new album once, and occasional older songs. But was definitely an amateur member of the audience.

Arrived just before Amina, the warm-up band, got started. Ambient soundscapes conjured with instruments ranging from wineglasses to powerbooks via more traditional strings. First song lasted 18 minutes; got bored well before the half-way point. Watched a couple more out of politeness, but joined a thickening stream of crowd walking out of the hall. Might have worked better from a seat, standing up in meaningless (albeit technically adept) stream of ambience has now been proven not to be my cup of tea.

Ran into Aaro & J. during the break. Their “visually sub-optimal” seats turned out to be pretty good indeed. No-one minded descending down to the floor, and you were guaranteed a seat if legs got sore.

Main act played for almost two hours. And was occasionally – during prolonged and pompous crescendos – nothing short of brilliant. But for the most of the time it definitely teetered on the edge of boredom. The stage presence was quite well up to the standard of 22-pistepirkko (ie. non-existent), and the chilled out feeling was replicated by a very static audience – definitely no mosh pits present tonight.

Purchased a decently-priced shirt, 25 euros was not too bad a price. They had handmade t-shirts available as well, but prices were not listed out, and there were no ATMs in the place anyhow. Coupling that with the fact that the bar refused to let you overcharge drinks on your card by more than 5 euros, there were a lot of miffed people left shirtless.

Was interesting – both from a musical and social perspective. The music was long-winded and incomprehensible, but pleasant overall. The audience definitely a more mixed crowd than a normal gig.

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