Bonnaroo 2013 : R. Kelly, Bjork, ’Weird Al’ Yankovic Keep Saturday Steaming
Bjork only uttered a few words to the What Stage crowd during her pre-headliner Bonnaroo set on Saturday night — "Thank you," "Tennessee !" and "It’s getting dark" among them. But the Icelandic avant-pop artist didn’t need to say much in between songs in order to present a rapturous, altogether thrilling performance highlighted by career-spanning tracks like "Pagan Poetry," "Bachelorette," "Hyperballad" and "Crystalline." During each song, a particularly Bjork-ian visual would appear on the video monitors : for "Hidden Place," dozens of starfish were shown devouring a degenerating hunk of dead meat, while "Joga" featured a geographical map of Iceland depicted within Bjork’s chest cavity.
source : Billboard
Bjork at Bonnaroo : An Interstellar Science Lesson Hits the Dancefloor
Watching Bjork at Bonnaroo never quite gave you the feeling you were actually watching Bjork. Even when she’s standing onstage before you—resplendent in her unearthly regalia and flanked by a chorus of flawless human specimens—it still feels as if you’re watching some sort of holographic performance beamed down to earth from whatever distant nebula her comparatively-advanced civilization hails from.
And that’s probably exactly what she wanted. Bjork’s face never once appeared on the stage’s LED screens, which was bad news for those watching from afar. Instead, CGI images of shifting tectonic plates, explosions within the earth’s core and starfish holding "hands" (as it were) graced the screen while Bjork and her entourage pranced about the stage, alternating between synchronized routines and tribal dancing chaos.
Bjork wore a predictably bizarre outfit for her Saturday evening performance at the Tennessee fest (what, you thought she’d take the stage wearing a tank top and Daisy Dukes to blend in with the locals ?) Her excessively 3D dress was the shade of silver worn only by women in 1950s sci-fi films, and her face was covered in translucent spikes that made her head resemble an interstellar Koosh ball.
The chorus of mostly-blonde women backing her onstage wore shimmering blue and gold robes, which had the effect of making them look like gospel singers at a born again Christian church. Except for the significant difference that these women danced with childlike joy instead of stilted awkwardness.
The church vibe very well might have been intentional. Bjork’s set favored tracks from her latest album Biophilia, which features lyrics recounting the birth of the universe in addition to facts pertaining to how fast the Atlantic ridge drifts. And if Bjork was the preacher—waxing poetic to Bonnaroo about the secular wonders of the universe—then her chorus did their job well, perfectly amplifying her love of learning and science to the crowd of thousands before her.
As enjoyable as the intimate, baroque arrangements of Biophilia were at Bonnaroo, the effect of her show was diluted by the fact that she took the stage while the sun was still shining. It was only when dusk began to drop—which fittingly happened while she was singing about signals that "wake me up from my hibernating" during "Pagan Poetry"—that her show truly came alive and the audience began to throw down. The crowd lost it during the pounding, stuttering "Mutual Core" and her "Nattura" encore elicited a stomping tribal dance of thousands.
After that, Bjork projected an emphatic "ThANK you" into the night and disappeared backstage, presumably to commence preparations for her return trip to whatever planet she comes from.
source : fuse.tv
The mood continued into the early evening with Björk on the What Stage. In the most mind-blowing set of the day (and perhaps the most compelling performance of the festival so far, with the exception of Paul McCartney), the enigmatic Icelandic singer was costumed in a form-fitting, bubble-textured silver dress and cranium-encompassing headgear adorned with thin white whisks standing on end and making her look like a singing space-age dandelion. The singer was backed by a drummer mostly pounding on electronic pads, a keyboardist/sound manipulator and a 14-piece all-female choir clad in cultish multi-colored robes. Sometimes they marched in place ; other times they sat crossed-legged or hunched over in an inward circle, or danced on a riser behind the singer. Occasionally they spread out to flank Björk on the stage as she spastically interpreted the rhythmic nuances of post-rock electro standouts like "Joga" and "The Hunter," delivering each with her inimitable celestial pipes. It was a presentation probably unlike anything festivalgoers have ever seen.
A true piece of performance art, the show had aesthetic rising action, with Björk pacing out her set to build from down-tempo cerebral sonic hauntings like "Crystalline" and "Hidden Place," to explosive, aggressive dance-electro chargers like the frenzied industrial stomper "Declare Independence" and the pyro-augmented, rhythmically chaotic closer "Nattura." At one point, the singer startled the crowd when she let out a piercing shriek, angrily checked her mic stand against the stage and lunged urgently towards fans on one of the pits. She changed a mellow day into an intense night as if on command during the Post classic "Hyperballad," which morphed into an abrasive, almost EDM-leaning outro just as the sun set.
source : Rolling Stone
Back at the What Stage, a rare U.S. appearance by Bjork enveloped the farm in oddity as the sun slowly sank. Dressed as what can only be described as a fabulous Pinhead (kids, see Hellraiser) and accompanied by a constantly moving troupe of robed singers and dancers, the Icelandic singer played maniacal chanteuse to Bonnaroo’s demented party. She certainly made this once-in-a-lifetime show a memorable one for the audience, offering everything from booming dance tracks to her calling card style of ethereal near-pop. Impossible to pigeonhole and always weird to a fault, Bjork delighted the fans who had been waiting for the chance to see her and made sure that no newcomer to her music would forget her presence in Manchester.
source : Glide Magazine