The person I went to see Jónsi with is a massive Sigur Rós fan. I am not. I find the music incredibly bleak and depressing. Apparently ‘shoe-gazing’ is for teenagers, but I think Sigur Rós is the adult version of this – pretty emo, good for when you’ve been dumped and want to wallow in your own misery or good background music when you want to take a nap. But I do actually like quite a lot of the songs on Go more than anything I have heard from Sigur Rós, so I was quite looking forward to this gig. The first song he played was very pared back – him standing on a stage with nothing going on around him. The venue was really, really hot and my feet were starting to ache a little bit from standing, and the song had a lyric about something being endless. It was quite slow and I found myself looking at the audience more than the stage, and I thought to myself, ‘this night is going to go on forever.’ Luckily, it did pick up. From the second song onward, the show really came into its own. Songs like ‘Go Do’, the single from the album, and ‘Animal Arithmetic’ were amazing and the audience was obviously absolutely loving it. It is the only gig I have ever been to where the audience actively shushed people during the quieter songs, and there were several (male!) shouts of ‘I LOVE YOU JÓNSI!’ in between songs. The stage direction was outstanding. The music most came alive for me when there were visuals running on the projection screen behind and next to the band. It started off with a simple image of a wolf and a deer, drawn in the style of a cave man. Then fire burned across the screen and with the next song we had the wolf chasing the deer in a beautiful black and white line animation where all of the muscle lines were drawn on to the bodies, giving the imagery a real sense of movement. Then the animals caught one another and turned into owls and suddenly we were soaring above the forest, rather than running throughit. At other times there were simple beats translated into moving blocks, hummingbirds made of fire flying around plants that grew up as the song progressed, other animals like ants and rats crawling across the screens in huge numbers, rain falling and filling the backdrop with water, and the whole show ended with a massive storm – animated rain pounding across the backdrop with lightening flashing in time with the music and drums echoing thunder. It was absolutely fantastic. By the end I felt invigorated and awake, something I really did not expect at all from the show. Written by Katie Johnson Header image by B.Romain Photography (