Re-re-re-invention – Has Björk still got it after four decades of performing?
Concert review by: Karen Helena.
Björk’s performance at Echo Beach Tuesday night was undoubtedly delicious and satisfying. She could have stood alone on stage, without any bells or whistles (or pyrotechnics) and still had our undivided attention. Still, the bells and whistles didn’t hurt.
An all female Icelandic choir echoed the beach complimenting Björk’s superlative vocal cords belting out like a tidal wave of unusual lexical stress and the rolling of everrry R. Ah yes, it was a hypnotizing mixture of audible pleasantries.
When our ears were stimulated, our eyes were too. Björk may be small in size but never in presence. She shone in a glittery blue dress with an enormous orange Afro. Her presence was not only heard but seen throughout the crowd; perhaps by those even sitting across the water.
From computer generated worms and starfish crawling over mounds of hair on two large video screens to the abstract freestyle dancing of the Icelandic singers, there was an abundance to keep us entertained.
Björk performed fan favourites: Craving Miracles, Hunter, Crystalline, Reoccurring Dream, Jóga and Pagan Poetry. Each song harmoniously accompanied by the women’s choir.
The only song Björk performed solo was One Day, from her Debut album. (Which debuted 20 years ago this month). She sang while the sounds of electronic steel drums fluttered all around and it immediately took me down memory lane to a time when she sang just like that on MTV’s Unplugged. It was magical to hear live.
The rest of the night was an explosion of energy. Björk is known for her eclectic tastes and now she’s into dub step. An arrhythmic array of electronic beats fires up Army of Me, Pluto and Hyperballad. Zap nap bim pow! And everyone danced.
I was a little surprised that for her one and only encore she chose perhaps not one of her most popular songs but certainly one with a message. “Declare independence. Don’t let them do that to you!” She exclaimed. The audience was keen to participate in the political banter. “Raise your flag.” “Higher. Higher!”
“Raise your flag.” “Higher. Higher!”
Admittedly, her last song did not seem to fall completely in sync with the rest of the concert, but that’s why it worked. Because when has Björk ever done anything predictable? Except to be predictably unpredictable which is why after nearly 4 decades as a performer, she is still an anomaly.