Archive for December, 2010

stream of concert in reykjavík

Friday, December 31st, 2010

jónsi played the final concert of his world tour on wednesday evening in his home city of reykjavík in iceland.

there will be an audio stream of this concert on the icelandic radio station rás 2 at 16:05 (icelandic time) today, december 31st (11:05 nyc time, 16:05 london time, 17:05 paris time). for that time where you are in the world, please see this page.

Laugardalshöll, reykjavík

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

featured photo galleries

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[flickrpress type=”photostream” tags=”laugardalshöll” api_key=”ed713e2b96150a742627ba72c3c303e8″ account=”christellefv” count=”35″ paging=”true” columns=”8″ lightbox=”true”] photos by christelle fortin-vaillancourt

studio coast, tokyo

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

garden hall, tokyo

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

tour diary #7

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

jónsi’s manager john best is spending some time on the road with the band as they tour asia, here is the seventh installment of his tour diary

december 2nd, 2010 nagoya, japan

so before we go any further, we have an imbalance to correct, people. you know what i’m talking about. yes, it’s ok that jonsi dominates his own message-board topic-by-topic (last seen 127 pages and numero uno entry for the so-called ‘jontastic’ thread, updated one hour ago). equally i can understand that alex merits 4 pages and 118 comments, updated most recently yesterday. i can even credit that ‘doddi is a force of nature’ is good for 31 comments spread over 2 pages, again last updated yesterday. but, come on guys!, ulfur, no updates on his optimistically entitled ‘fan thread’ for a fortnight? this guy is busting his skinny balls for you night after night and this is how you repay him? look at his haircut! that’s worth a thread on its own, especially here in japan where every young man has this kind of beiber-esque wispy thing going on, only in black. come on people, show some goddam appreciation.



but, but, but…that is as nought compared to the tawdry treatment doled out to the nearly man, the quite riot, the nerd-done-good, selflessly tinkling the ivories, hammering the glock and bashing the shit out of the pots’n’pans drum-set gig after gig, show after show, tour after tour, always in the noirish gloom, out of the spotlight, just so jonsi can get 127 pages of sucky praise from a bunch of undeserving ingrates. yes, i’m talking about obo, ólafur björn ólafsson to you, the eminence gris of the whole jonsi live experience. he’s a proud man, some might say a great man, a man singly unconcerned by the fact the if you search the whole of the jonsi forum you don’t get a single result for “obo”, not a one. he only crops up in a word like “robot”. seriously what is up with that shit? if i were obo – and who wouldn’t want to be? – i would refuse to take the stage til someone, anyone, somewhere started a thread about what an ubermensch i am. it doesn’t have to sexually based (like much of alex’s), but that wouldn’t hurt either.

and if you don’t think obo is worth his own thread, consider this: (i) obo is the only member of jonsi’s band cool enough to get away with sunglasses on stage (although he did have to take them off because sarne, the monitor guy, couldn’t tell if was looking at him or not); (ii) obo is only member of the band who can do “the worm”, for real; (iii) obo thinks you pronounce cher as “chair” and genuinely believes this would be a better name; (iv) obo also thinks there is a second “b” sound in the word “bombing”; (v) and he calls christine aguilera “a feisty creature”, pronouncing feisty like “feasty”; (vi) obo is the only band member rock’n’roll enough to throw up in his own bunk. afterwards the bus driver was overheard blaming on “that ubu guy”. for his part, modest to the last, he believes just being in the band is cool enough and that it is unbecoming to go cap in hand begging for a thread. but i say what the f@ck?!, this man is a minor (key) deity. you know what to do.

no oil paintings


diamond hall, nagoya

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

tour diary #6

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

jónsi’s manager john best is spending some time on the road with the band as they tour asia, here is the sixth installment of his tour diary

december 1st, 2010 osaka, japan

just back from the osaka show. 24 hours into japan and things are feeling alright. the crowd tonight was, as predicted, kinda reverential, which was nice, if entirely diametric to korea the other night. i guess they are just soaking it up and being respectful, and eventually things did get a little hotter under the collar, but only one paper plane tonight as opposed to to the hundreds in seoul, so come on nogoya and tokyo, let down your hair a little bit, why dontcha?

in other news, the band are presently unusually clean, thanks to the amazing bathhouse area on the 6th floor of the hotel. you can go there and sit at you own private station in a wet room and do the complete top-to-toe treatment, with a full range of products and utensils. obo and doddi are now closely shaved where it counts (on the face), while alex could eat his dinner off jonsi, if that were his thing. sadly for ulfur he can’t go to the bathhouse because he has a tattoo, and tattoos are banned in such place to prevent yakuza from using them as meeting places. true fact. anyway, the plunge pool after the sauna is a new high in human sensation, bettered only by the prospect of an ice cold asahi in the relaxing area afterwards.

– not everyone drinks asahi, old action dudes prefer pocari sweat

so, that’s what me, jonsi and obo did last night before hitting shinsaibashi for some late night action. actually it wasn’t that late, because everything seems to happen really, really early in japan, including tonight’s gig which took place at 7pm. also, we didn’t really *hit* shinsaibashi so much as lightly mollycoddle it, since despite coming to japan for years now, we never really feel we quite get the hang of it. so we wandered round the narrow streets with more tiny bars than there can possibly be people to drink in them, stultified by choice. the so-called “girls bars” are intriguing, but of course we were too pussy to go in one. we did try to go into something labelled a “cabaret” but the guy at the door said it was for japanese only. is that legal? i mean, isn’t it racist to exclude the white man? whatevs, we perambulated on, impressed that none of the bicycles choking the roadsides seem to be locked, and wondering why the guys in the big white cars leaning on their horns seem to get everyone else to pull over to the sides to let them through like they’re the 4th emergency service. maybe they’re the guys with the tattoos?

– those bikes aren’t even secured!

– typically warm and inviting shinsaibashi bar

in the end we went randomly to a tiny jazz bar called tako tako, which had some atmos and cool record sleeves on the wall. i guess the western decor was something to hold onto in an otherwise gently bewildering nipponese experience. and if you think we are typically “gaijin” for being discombobulated watch this:

this raises so many questions i don’t know where to begin. or – still not convinced? – consider the fact that japanese people go to concerts like this (scroll down to video):

no wonder they politely clap when a mere human takes to the stage.

tour diary #5

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

jónsi’s manager john best is spending some time on the road with the band as they tour asia, here is the sixth installment of his tour diary

november 29th, 2010 seoul, south korea

sorry to the rest of the world, but seoul, s korea just came from nowhere to take top spot in best audience ever stakes. we thought ferrara was good, with its coordinated confetti and hand-held flares back in the summer, and salt lake city knocked our socks off when we were expecting, well, i don’t know we were expecting, but certainly not thinly-veiled hysteria. and now seoul. who’d a thunk it?

i guess the signs were there from the welcoming committee at the airport with the really professional printed banners…in somewhat, um, stilted icelandic! (the printers in s korea do a smashing job, people). peter, our tour manager, joked that he’d bought the “fan package” for s e asia to make the *talent* feel better about himself, but this was a degree or two above rent-a-crowd. after that though there was little indicate major devotion nestling in bosom of the populace. our short sorties from the intercontinental into the anodyne streets nearby were undisturbed by acolytes or indeed anyone. the major talking point was the sheer quality of the hotel breakfast.

when we got to the ax club in the afternoon there was a small phalanx of mostly female fans across from the front door, who jostled politely at the sight of the merch, but nothing out of the ordinary. even as the set commenced the mood was, if anything, more than usually reserved (sometime the politeness of asian audiences can be misinterpreted as lack of interest by some sensitive artists), although the large number of people wearing home-made crowns a-la-doddi was noted with pleasure*, as were a further three icelandic banners thanking jonsi for (finally) coming to korea. and then, slowly, unbidden whoops of encouragement began to accompany jonsi’s every move away from the mic or vocal flourish, growing in confidence and intensity as the set progressed. this is going well i thought, standing next to sound man jelle weaving his usual sonic magic, whatever the size, shape and construction of the venue.

doddi's pride crown

and then at what we presume was a pre-ordained point in around us – the moment where the band flip from the acoustic piano-led version to the full-on club-banger rendition – most everyone in the crowd started launching paper airplanes towards the stage. there seemed to be an endless supply of these slowly accreting on the stage in an origamic drift. i picked up some of the many that had fallen short and smiled at the message “sorry alex…i love your boyfriend”. there were others too, printed with the “drip” motif from the artwork and snatches of lyrics, and all in a variety of colours. there was even one huge one, maybe close on a metre long, that made it to jonsi’s feet only for him to hurl it inelegantly back into the crowd.

sorry alex...

origami drift

looking at one in my hands now, i can see this intervention was coordinated by the “official south korea sigur ros fan community“, so thanks and more power to that august organisation. it was appreciated. what was especially appreciated was that every single tip of every single plane had been carefully folded under and backwards to avoid the danger of having thousands of sharp, albeit paper, projectiles hurtling around a confined space. this was the source of much wonder and joyfulness backstage afterwards, with the band pondering the infinite tendresse of a people unwilling to risk putting out jonsi’s one remaining “good eye”. or maybe korea’s just become a risk-averse, litigious nation?

and it’s not as if that was the end of it, no siree. from then on the whole gig was ramped up to another level, the party atmosphere culminating in grow till tall when crate loads of confetti and spray snow were unloaded at another planned juncture. the band were clearly having trouble concentrating, with jonsi singing in the wrong mic and alex and ulfur missing notes to throw planes back into the crowd. it was all-in-all pretty special, and we are pretty sure no-one’s going to manage to top it this year. i mean japan and iceland you can’t do any better than that…can you?

* we found later that one fan was responsible for making all the crowns seen in the crowd so special jonsi shout out – ho-oh! – to whoever that was

hatch, osaka

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010