11 août 2003

Hollywood Bowl

Los Angeles, États-Unis


Hollywood Bowl

Without any new material, Björk is put in the unenviable position of competing with herself, specifically
her 2001 Dorothy Chandler Pavilion concert, a stunning, once-in-a-lifetime event with the potential to
overshadow anything that follows. But the Icelandic singer all but ignored that, kicking off the evening
with “Unravel,” a ballad that promises, “When you come back/we’ll have to make new love.” While her
performance did not quite live up the high bar she set, it was an impressive evening nonetheless.
Given the task of performing in cavernous ballparks and amphitheaters, Björk has counter intuitively
slimmed down her band. Gone are he orchestra and the choir, with just the Icelandic String Octet playing
alongside harpist Zeena Parkins and electronic duo Matmos.

Surprisingly, it’s the right choice ; the leaner arrangements are better suited for the booming amplification
necessitated by large venues. And Björk deftly shuffled the elements, with the octet adding a romantic
surge to “Jóga,” Parkins joining Björk for the delicate filigree of “Síðasta Ég” and Matmos’ crunchy rhythms
giving “Aurora” its otherworldly aura. When all three came together for “It’s in Our Hands” and “Pluto,”
the joyous on-rush of sound virtually levitated the sell-out aud.

A charming performer close up, Björk is still a stubbornly inward presence, singing to the wings as often
as she projects to the back of the house. To compensate, she has brought an extravaganza on the road
with her. At various points, flames shot up around her and fireworks exploded above the crowd. Videos
accompanied “Unravel,” “Desired Constellation,” “Nature Is Ancient” and “Pluto,” their jarring, surreal
images forming a kind of Edda, or creation story, as they moved from a swirling chaos to written
communication, culminating the finale of “Human Behavior,” where she advised, “There’s no map and a
compass wouldn’t help at all but is ever so satisfying.”

This summer has been a busy one for Björk. Beyond her tour, which stops at Brooklyn’s Keyspan Park
Aug. 22-23 (with Sigur Ros opening), she’s promoting the release of three DVDs (video collection
“Volumen,” performance disc “Vessel” and compilation bio “Inside Björk”) and a four-CD boxed set
collecting concerts front throughout her career. “Björk Live.” with an accompanying book.

Steven Mirkin - Daily Variety


01. Unravel
02. I’ve Seen It All
03. Jóga
04. Sídasta Ég
05. Aurora
06. Desired constellation
07. Cocoon
08. All is full of love
09. Hunter
10. Nature is ancient
11. 5 Years
12. Pagan poetry
13. Bachelorette
14. Hyperballad
15. It’s In Our Hands (SPT mix)
16. Pluto
17. Generous palmstroke
18. Human behaviour

sur scène

  • Icelandic String Octet
  • Matmos
  • Zeena Parkins


habillée par

  • Shaun Leane


  • Lynn Fox