Date: 30th August 2013
Venue: Jodrell Bank
Supporting acts: Nick Colk Void, Daughter & Poliça
There aren’t many opportunities in life when you’re presented with the chance to go to a concert in the shadow of a giant radio telescope in the middle of rural Cheshire. In such circumstances it takes a pretty special band to put on a show more breathtaking than the location itself. Luckily, Sigur Rós rose up to and transcended this challenge.
With the event starting at 3pm, the audience was first treated to support sets from Nik Colk Void, Daughter and Poliça. As Nik Colk Void stood motionless on stage scratching their guitars and occasionally breathing into the microphones, a sea of confused faces started to question whether we were witnessing an actual transmission from space through the radio telescope. Perhaps not the most appropriate audience for their act. Luckily the latter two acts drew a much more positive reaction. Lead singer of Daughter, Elena Tonra, definitely won the award for most affable personality of the day with her adorably awkward apologies for unnoticeable mistakes.
By 9pm, following a short rain shower, it was time for the main act. The excitement in the air was palpable as the dish of the Lovell telescope rotated towards the stage, forming a giant projection canvas. The band came on stage to the sound of a transmission of noises recorded from space – unique and befitting of the location.
Opening song Yfirborõ can only be described as majestic, as the trio and their menagerie of instrumentalists and backing singers mesmerised the audience right from the very start. This spell only continued as projected images of marathon runners and mountains accompanied the inspiring sounds. Standing there in the presence of it all, you felt like pretty much anything was possible.
The band’s most popular song, Hoppípolla, came about halfway through and it was everything expected and more as Jonsí’s soothing voice effortlessly sailed above the familiar melody and left the awed crowd in a dazed trance. The track was only partially marred by a fellow behind us who deemed the climax of the song an appropriate moment to start yelling like a werewolf. Continuously.
Not even he could ruin the moment though, and the magic went on and on. Popplagio, the night’s closing number somehow managed to be even more omnipotent than everything that had come before it, as it built up to a truly epic conclusion. Sigur Rós are most definitely out of this world.