Friday, March 26, 2010

sigur ros- the vic- chicago, il- 9.27.01

this is the first sigur rós show i ever went to. i snuck in my tape recorder and recorded the set and shared it with a lot of people. i believe my recording is the only one that is in circulation. just like the mogwai show it sounds quite good considering the kind of equipment i used- the levels are a bit clearer and most of the sound issues were the results of sound problems at the show. for instance, during the beginning of 'njósnavélin' there is a bit of an overbearing bass issue and during 'deathsong' the organ is very shrill. both problems in the mix there. otherwise i'm very happy with how this turned out. i didn't have to add any eq.
on to the dirt. this was one of the first shows that stefanie and i ever went to out of town together (the other being radiohead at redrocks earlier in the year). i'd been in the habit of traveling to catch shows that i was eager to see that passed up kansas city (wow, were there a lot of them, too). in the summer of 2000 before i went off to london i went to see the cure five times as i was very fond of the 'bloodflowers' album and figured even if they were lying about the whole 'this is our last tour' malarkey (which they'd done a lot at that point) that it would be the best time to catch them as the likelihood of them putting out another record i would love as much as 'bloodflowers' was very low (again, i was right). the cure had never played in kansas city at that point, either (they actually did play there finally a few years ago before that newest record came out) so it had always been necessary to travel to see them. it was worth it. this show is another shining example of when it's worthwhile to drive nine hours just to see a band that you love.
9/11 had just happened and for whatever reason that fall season was one that was full of touring heavyweights. after the tragedy the vast majority of touring bands (especially the ones from the uk) started canceling their tours left and right. for example, we were going to buy tickets to see nick cave at the chicago theater, which was scheduled to be on the day after the sigur ros show, but they canceled. by 9/11 we'd already bought our tickets for this show and gotten the time off from work and spent the next few weeks checking their website obsessively, hoping that they wouldn't cancel. clear up until we walked in and saw the album leaf playing we were wary that this wasn't going to happen. at this point i'd gotten that second record and listened to it obsessively for months and months on end. this was the height of my sigur ros-mania. i'd also started playing the guitar with a bow after seeing photos of jon thor birgisson doing so, which became one of the main staples of the early shalloboi sound back in those days (i managed to figure out ways to do the bowed guitar thing in my own way). one would think that such lofty expectations and hopes would have to be too huge not to dash, but holy crap did they somehow SURPASS them! not only did they not cancel their tour, but they seemed to be capable of effortlessly harnessing the intense amount of emotion that everyone in the room was feeling and projecting it back at us- sort of a mix of that post-9/11 shock mixed with the pure elation that they had still come to play. have you ever heard a more ecstatic crowd? listening to the recording for the first time in years i was moved to tears listening to the 'fyrsta'/'samskeyti' couplet as well as the moment in 'svefn-g-englar' after birgisson sings through his guitar pickups and then launches into that really loud part. at this point the parentheses album hadn't come out yet and they played pretty much the entire record live. they were also there without the amiina string quartet- so it was just the four of them. i'd lived with this recording for so long that when i heard the parentheses album i was actually DISAPPOINTED because the recorded versions of the songs weren't as powerful as they were at that show. i know now that this is really just the mark of a truly great band.
it was about as perfect of a first time seeing a band as one could imagine. there were a few guys standing next to us who got a bit talkative towards the end. if you listen very carefully you can hear stefanie ask them to please keep it down- i think she told them we'd driven nine hours for this show. they were about as gracious as one could expect. no more, no less. in retrospect she should've told them i was recording the set. i recorded so much of the crowd noise at the end mainly because i'd never heard a crowd that hyped up before. people stood clapping and screaming for about seven minutes. they came out to take a bow twice. i still don't think i've experienced that at another show since- it's all such an obligatory thing now- oh, we're supposed to clap now because they're going to come out and play an 'encore.'
anyway, i'll shut up and just post the link- (192 kbps mp3s)
once again, i have the flacs but won't post them unless there's a specific request made. enjoy!


Nicole said...

Can you re-post? FLACs would be awesome too! I tripped over a post you made on a Sigur Ros message board ages ago about this show and messaged you there too - getting a copy of this show would mean a lot to me!

shalloboi said...

finally noticed this comment almost a month later. sure, i'll work on getting those flacs up for you.

shalloboi said...

alright, finally got them uploaded! here you go-

Violet said...

Got it! Can't thank you enough, I've been searching for this show for years!