23 août 2003

KeySpan Park

New York, États-Unis


An Ambitious stage show nearly drowns out the Icelandic chanteuse

For thrills, not even Coney Island’s rickety Cyclone roller coaster could compete with Björk. In the wake of her new Livebox retrospective, the Icelandic singer has transformed her catalog into an exceedingly ambitious stage show, full of pyrotechnics, vocal gymnastics and bizarre video montages. The sheer spectacle overwhelmed fans at the Brooklyn ballpark - even if the meaning was often lost in the explosions.

Shortly after a hypnotic opening set by fellow icelanders Sigur Ros, Björk made her grand entrance by the venue’s center filed fence, wearing a dress made from what looked to be pasted together doilies. Her oddly matched backup band, featuring the Icelandic String Octet, electronic duo Matmos and harpist Zeena Parkins, wouldn’t have looked out of place at the opera, or possibly at a cyber cafe.

Björk’s vocals and primal howls can be heartbreaking ("All is Full of Love"), invincible ("Human Behaviour") and, quite often, both ("Pagan Poetry"). But most of the action was focused away from the singer "Jóga" simulated its promised "state of emergency", with the first of four massive fireworks displays launched from nearb y beaches as a dozen fire jets ignited onstage. "Aurora" features Matmos’ MC Schmidt creating a shuffle rhythm by sliding his feet over a box of rock salt. And the hyped-up remix of "It’s in Our Hands" set off an impromptu infield disco - at least for those not relegated to stadium seats.

The pounding techno closer, "Pluto", coincided with more fireworks, spark-shooting cannons, strobe lights, bubbles and an usual video of a naked bald guy dancing. Impressive, but it also prompted a question : Why ? Björk didn’t explain, only uttering a couple of childlike thank-you’s during the night. For those who just didn’t get Björk, watching fireworks alongside Coney Island’s cool sea breeze was sufficient entertainment. But for her dogmatic fanbase, the evening was transcendent.

Andy Gensler - Rolling Stone


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

sur scène

  • Icelandic String Octet
  • Matmos
  • Zeena Parkins

habillée par

  • Shaun Leane
  • Shoplifter


  • Lynn Fox