Monday, November 8, 2010
After beginning the year with the disappointing announcement of Sigur Ros’ hiatus, frontman Jon Thor Birgisson (better known as Jonsi) has made the most of 2010. While others in the group spent the year attending to personal matters, Jonsi pursued his solo endeavors. After releasing Go in April, the Icelandic performer has been touring for the better part of the last six months, displaying his beautiful theatrics at shows across the world.
Although he canceled his previously scheduled in-store at Criminal Records on Sunday, Jonsi and his four-piece band treated those who made it out to the Tabernacle for the main act. He explained between songs that his Icelandic origins have limited his Halloween past experiences, but his ornately decorated set and inspired performance played the part perfectly. Jonsi is by no means spooky, given his lighthearted and sometimes whimsical delivery, but remained every bit the right act for a Halloween show.
Much of his allure comes through his penchant for dynamic perfection, or as some dazed attendee remarked after the show, he stands as the “master of dynamics, bro.” The five-piece ebbed and flowed throughout their set, running the emotional gamut from the momentous swells of “Tornado” to the euphoric ecstasy of “Animal Arithmetic.” “Go Do” filled the Tabernacle with pulsating declarations of bliss and grandeur, while “Around Us” featured a riveting build up, culminating with Jonsi alone onstage in a brilliant minute of spontaneous electronic manipulation of his voice.
While the performance was a moment to behold, his understated visual production created a complete sensory experience. Not only were Jonsi and company dressed in ornate costumes and makeup, but the majority of the crowd matched them by showing up in costume as well. With all these elements combined, Jonsi transformed the Tabernacle from a concert hall to the home of a transcendent, ethereal experience—if only for a brief couple of hours.