Bjork – Waterfront Hall, Belfast 28/04/08

29 04 2008

There are gigs and there are events. Bjork at the Waterfront Hall was more than an event. It was an absolutely mighty performance. The show was theatrical, heartfelt, euphoric and, to say the least, stunning.  The setlist was eclectic and well-chosen, combining more famous stuff with top-notch but lesser-known album tracks. Backed by two electronic nerds (one being Mark Bell of LFO), an incredible drummer/percussionist, an amusing pianist and a ten-piece female brass band/choir (Wonderbrass), songs were re-arranged with wonderful surprise twists. The sound faltered for the first couple of songs, with Bjork and the brass bubbling a little beneath all the beats but that was soon sorted and the impressive Waterfront soundsystem was shown off to great effect. The Waterfront is an excellent theatre – we were about ten feet away from Bjork but were not remotely crushed in a sold-out venue. There was a clear view, no lines of people squeezing by throughout and no intrusive security guards.

‘Army Of Me’, a song I’ve never been hugely fond of, was the show’s set-stealer with thumping thumping beats and heavy heavy bass while roving lasers distracted the eyes. ‘Hyperballad’ evolved into a mental distorted synthmonster while ‘Immature’ was turned into a beautiful brass ballad. As you will see in the video above, during closer ‘Declare Independence’ (without the expected controversial introduction), the whole venue was littered with silver foily fall-y bits. And the entire place went mental – in fact, the gig had one of the best atmospheres of any gig I’ve ever been to. Astonishing stuff altogether.

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