all photos: Kevin Carroll
Jonsí invites audiences to experience a melodic adventure over the hills and through the woods, with grandmother’s house as an eventual destination. Combining fantastical projections, an impressive use of light and sound, and the musicianship to rival that of a Coldplay show, the former Sigur Rós member didn’t disappoint.
Having arrived a bit late, openers Mountain Men remain a mystery to me. Unlike other bands who rely on theatrics and overzealous stage presence, Jonsí creates an overall experience—he needs not overcompensate, the music and the visuals compliment one another perfectly. The entire set can best be described as a living, breathing masterpiece of color and sound; it would be hard to believe anyone could have left feeling unmoved.
For those familiar with Sigur Rós, where the band sometimes had a tendency towards darker themes, Jonsí was full of life and pure joy. The audience was hypnotized by the Icelandic performer’s innocent lyrics, and equally as innocent vocals. Jonsí smartly kept performer-audience interaction to a minimum, which worked to his benefit. Generally not the best idea, but for the type of act Jonsí is, this kept the experience unbroken by meaningless small talk.
Despite being a solo act, Jonsí’s backing band definitely deserves some recognition. The drums provided a pulse, the xylophones provided a spirit, the guitars and piano brought life. As the journey took audiences through the woods, and to what appeared to be a cabin, and back through the woods once more, each step was directed by not only the vocals, but the instrumentation as well. The cabin interlude played out much like a whimsical jam session—the toy piano was a very nice touch.
As a newly born Jonsí fan, this show was the motivation to then buy his album Go, which I encourage wholeheartedly.