laugardagur, september 25, 2004

Sigur Rós roadie

I was sitting in a restaurant (Grillhúsið) tonight and Sigur Rós came and sat at the next booth with Steindor Andersen, the rímur (singing poet). I was waiting to meet Bibbi Curver, a friend-of-a-friend who was gonna get me into their show that night for free. When they came in I was shocked in that way you are when you see people in the flesh who up until then you have only seen far away, or through the media. They were discussing their set list and some fine points of musical transitions and then Steindor launched into a little lyric and his voice made all the air around us shake...

Then, I saw them perform across the street. Their show was fantastic, accompanying still shots of a remote area of Iceland. They played from the Rímur collection and quite brilliantly. They are just unbelievably tight live. There were three blokes from England in the row behind me who had come all the way to see the show. They were beside themselves... I told them I had moved here to see the show and they laughed.

Forrest Whittaker and Julia Stiles were there. Forrest is a big, sad-faced mountain of a man, but seems really friendly and low-key. He was sitting 3 rows in front of me. After the show, I tried mingling with the Nordisk Panorama (film festival) crowd but I was neither 1) a Nordic filmmaker 2) a hero of the Icelandic arts scene, so I had trouble fitting in.

I ended up helping the Sigur Rós roadies pack up the monitor speakers (thinking of Jackson Browne's "Load Out" the whole time) and when Orri, the drummer, walked by, I told him I always had wanted to roadie for a "real rock band"... and he said "yeah!!!". I tried to talk to Jonsi also but he was evasive, and I didn't really want to bother him.

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