Jónsi | 11.02.10

The entire room fell still, caught in the siren song of Jónsi, the singer for the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós.

 
 
 
 
The Pageant, St. Louis
  
The lights were dim and the air was thick with anticipation as Jónsi neared the stage wearing a patched red and gray plaid button-up with thick, long cotton fringes trailed by red and black feathers; resembling something of a lost boy. Throughout the crowd, feathers rose from heads in a show of support for this modern-day Rufio.
 
With the stage backlit by a projection of contour-line forest animals racing through scene after scene, the audience embarked on their transcendent journey. The entire room fell still, caught in the siren song of Jónsi, the singer for the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós.
 
On the turn of the second song, the band entered wearing similar treehouse-play attire (drummer Thorvaldur Thór Thorvaldsson even had his own childlike crown). The lights brightened, revealing an array of instruments including a couple of guitars, two drum sets (one with what appeared to be dented garbage can lids in place of symbols), four sets of keys, a glockenspiel, ukulele, celeste, kalimba and a percussion arrangement. The musical progression complimented Jónsi’s unique cinematic concert experience by creating a pleasantly orchestrated noise that captured everyone within earshot.
 
The fantastical fable of a performance reached a turning point when Jónsi, whose ability to captivate a room with an all-encompassing mood can be related to that of Thom Yorke, thanked the audience and introduced the technically interesting title track “Go Do.” The song, from his debut solo album Go, broke the stillness in the air and got the whole audience moving.
 
Curled over on the stage, interweaving his own voice with the tones of a synthesizer, Jónsi ended the set with an energetic break down of “Around Us.” The audience warmly welcomed Jónsi (now sporting a feathered headdress) and his band back to the stage for an encore. For the last two songs, the band and audience alike were swaying, head-bobbing and enjoying one another’s energy.
 
With “Grow Till Tall,” the reverberation of the distorted guitars, the pounding of the dueling drum sets and Jónsi’s eerie, lulling voice as it gradually got louder took the audience to the dramatic ending of their hour and a half journey. Jónsi, throwing his torso back and forth and darting across the stage in a rain dance pulled his fans into his intricately planned performance. The lights flashed like lightening bolts dancing across the sky as images of rain and storms flashed on the backlit projection. The song ended with an explosion of flashes and then pure darkness.
 
The audience let their eyes adjust to the darkness and erupted in cheering and whistles, still not sure what they had just experienced. Jónsi and his band stepped out one final time to take a bow and gratefully applaud their audience. | Kelly Glueck

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