I've never seen a concert at MSG. Admittedly, most of the bands I follow max out at the 600 capacity Bowery Ballroom, not a 20,000 seat arena, but at one point in my former life I saw U2 at a stadium (Veterans, if I recall correctly) and New Order at an arena (in Philly, I can't remember where). But I'd never been to Madison Square Garden for anything but basketball games. Until Monday night. When Sigur Ros sold out the mecca of New York. As they said in an email to fans before the concert, “When we performed downstairs at the Madison Square [Garden] Theater in 2006, Billy Joel was doing a 15-night run above us. That seemed like the right order of things. And yet, here we are, two weeks out from what we can only described as the big one!” This was their first show as a 3-piece, with long-time multi-instrumentalist Kjartan “Kjarri” Sveinsson leaving the group, but there were 8 backing musician on stage, filling the cavernous arena with such wondrous sounds that the whole experience felt intimate, touching. Special. A large screen backed the stage, providing ethereal images for the beautiful music, and Jonsi sounded great throughout. Possibly the best part of the night was when the band came out to the cheering crowd after the encore and took a thank you bow en masse... then came back out again when the crowd wouldn't stop cheering and thanked the fans again with blown kisses and another bow. The excitement they had for actual being able to perform on that stage filled me with such joy that such an amazing band with such a unique sound -- lyrics in Hopelandish, a made up version of Icelandic for crying out loud -- could make it so big says something positive about the world in my eyes. It's not all shit that rises to the top, sometimes. Setlist below courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan. Pics and video by me.
SETLIST: Sigur Ros @ MSG 3/25/2013