May 16, 2007

I had the privilege of seeing Bjork perform last night at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Setting: It was a misty cool evening, but really the weather was perfect and provided a nice relief to the heat Denver has faced the past few weeks. The crowd was jovial and happy, yet still contemplative and very respectful to the music.

Opener: Joanna Newsom opened the show. She is a folk singer whose main instrument is the harp. She also has a violinist, a banjo player and a percussionist. I have heard her latest cd a few times, and frankly was not impressed. She just seemed like such a try-hard with her awkward/over the top voice. I must say, my impression of her was slightly raised after seeing her live. Musically she is fantastic. Her musicianship on the harp, and every other musician on stage was fantastic. I still, however, do not like her voice, and I thought it was distracting.

Bjork: Now for the main attraction! As she took the stage, her band consisted of an 8 piece horn section (all dressed in brightly colored clown-like costumes), a drummer, a sequencer, a DJ and a pianist. The stage was covered in flags and television screens. The sequencer and DJ both used very visual controls for ring modulation and program selection; it was hard to explain with out seeing it yourself. Quite simply, Bjork blew my mind. I wouldn’t say it was the best show I have ever seen, simply because I don’t have the same emotional connection to her music as I do with other bands. I will say, however, that this was the best sounding show I have ever been to. The natural reverb of Red Rocks seemed to just love her voice. I could not believe how loud it was for an outside show. I can see why Bjork has been playing for so long. She is just way to talented to be ignored. Bjork played a mix of songs. Mainly off the newest album, Volta. She did also play songs off pretty much every other album, even Medulla (with some musical accompaniment). Her set lasted for approximately and hour and a half, and had one encore. I felt very privileged to witness a show of this caliber. I have heard she is only playing 13 shows here in her North American tour. If you ever have a chance to witness the wonder that is Bjork, DO IT!

(crappy camera phone pic)



  1. That is way cool you got to see that concert, Josh. I saw that on the list of dates and figured Red Rocks would be the key show to see. You lucky turd…

  2. The first time I heard Joanna Newsom’s voice, I thought it was a joke. But her lyrics just grew on me (“Inflammatory Writ,” “Peach, Plum, Pear” being favorites). Her voice is much better live, although it looks like it hurts her when she sings. She’s undeniably cute. And the Ys Street Band is an awesome addition. But, yeah, Ys… blew my mind when I heard it. Better recording equipment, these sweeping lyrics. She was obviously working through stuff writing those songs. I thought they were beautiful.

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