Sigur Ros @ Madison Square Garden (March 25, 2013)

By Will Oliver, March 26th 2013 — with 5 comments Concert Photos Concert Reviews


Sigur Ros have a special sound that is truly larger than life. No one can argue that. With that said, they also seem like a modest band that is sincerely happy to make music that people enjoy. So to see them play the mecca of arenas, Madison Square Garden, is a fulfilling win for all the good guys. But to see them harness the energy of such an event with the power and finesse that they achieved tonight, damn, sometimes life can be pretty extraordinary.

The Icelandic band can instantly go from soft, sleep-worthy beauty, and then come crashing with raw power that stuns you like a wave They have many different ways to do it, but one way, or another, they will find a way into your emotional core.

They started the show with a giant screen draped over them, casting a giant silhouette of Jónsi towing away with his bowed guitar. Looking like he was the wizard of oz of MSG, he has all of us instantly transfixed. When the screen dropped, the band seemed to take it as a cue to take things up a notch. This was because the band (now a 3-piece) was backed up by a large set of backing musicians who played just about every instrument you could think of.

Playing for nearly 2-hours, it seemed like a lifetime journey spent with the band, in the best way possible. One minute they have you on the verge of tears, and the very next your feeling a spiritual high. A Sigur Ros show has the power and emotional transgression of a religious experience, an amazing feat considering not a single word of English was uttered other than a quick hello or thank you. They do so with their sounds and sight, giving us a spectacular light show backed by moving images that were breathtaking enough to be considering another band member.

They delivered and shared all the best of their classic material, creating crashing, sweeping results. New songs were also shared, which sounded pretty heavy and slightly psych-experimental, almost rivaling the present day sound of Radiohead.

I can go on with my words and tell you how amazing Sigur Ros are live (you probably already could have guessed). I could enamor you with the nation that this was one of the better shows that I have ever seen (it was). I could tell you that the show had an emotional impact me larger than anything else that has recently occurred in my life (by great lengths). But Sigur Ros are not a band that uses words to impact you.

So ignore my uttering and see them live to see them live and make your own interpretations.

  • Jacob

    That review could’ve used a proof read or four. I also think arenas aren’t for Sigur Ros. They work far better in a more intimate setting, as opposed to an arena with 20,000 people in it. But their music is still magical either way.

  • Soozy

    Can you provide a setlist?

  • Duncan

    Agreed. Big arenas are not the ideal setting for them. This is my third time seeing them perform, the first two at smaller venues. When I bought my outrageously expensive ticket master tickets months ago to see them at MSG, the best they could give me was the very last seat in the highest section in the highest row. And though the music was amazing, the spectacle of the show was a bit lackluster for me being that I was just looking down at rafters and strobe lights.

    Also, could have done without all the drunk hipsters screaming and whistling at inappropriate times.

  • alaina

    this show at msg was the best thing I have ever seen in my life. wouldn’t trade the arena experience for anything. huge for them. next year will be 20 years they’ve been a band. about damn time they played msg.

    spotify playlist of the setlist sans songs from upcoming Kveikur.

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