Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bjork @ Nokia Theatre

The inside of the Nokia Theatre looked like the lovechild of the Staples Center and the El Rey.

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But the theater was the perfect size for Bjork: Large enough for spectacle, small enough for intimacy.

The evening started with a bottle of red, a bag of gummi bears, and me yelling "Bring it, hipsters! Wow me with your math rock!" at opening band Ratatat. They brought it . . . in a very mild, underwhelming way.

Bjork, however, was out to kill me. After the flags were raised and her brass section marched out on stage and played a lovely little intro, out she came, in a shimmery golden butterfly dress. She started the set with two intensely emotional songs from Homogenic:

"Immature" (featuring some of the most precise lyrics ever written):

How could I be so immature
To think he would replace
The missing elements of me?
How extremely lazy of me

And then the terrifically heartbreaking "Unravel:"

While you are away
My heart comes undone
Slowly unravels
In a ball of yarn
The devil collects it
With a grin
Our love
In a ball of yarn
He'll never return it
So when you come back
We'll have to make new love


She didn't stop there -- she stepped it up with "Unison," "Joga," "Hunter" (during which she suddenly shot streamers out of her fingertips, no lie), the "Pleasure is All Mine" and "Pagan Poetry" until I was completely distraught with emotion; vulnerable like a wounded animal, even. And then, at my weakest moment, she assaulted me with a pyrotechnics-infused performance of "Earth Intruders."

And an "Army of Me" full of green lasers. And an "Innocence" full of confetti. And a delightfully creepy "Cover Me" segue into a technicolor "Wanderlust."

And then - "Hyperballad." My favorite song. If you haven't heard it, it's Bjork singing very sweetly about throwing things (car parts, bottles and cutlery; even herself) off of a cliff, before rising into an exhilarating chorus of:

I go through all this/before you wake up/so i can be happier/to be safe up here with you

And then, at the end, the song breaks into an electrifying house mix. The entire audience danced like it was 1998.

She closed the set with an explosive "Pluto" and came back for an encore of "Oceania" and "Declare Independence." The lights stayed low after she walked off the stage and I think we could have gotten a second encore if we'd asked for it, but we humans typically don't ask for what we don't expect.

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Bjork, the greatest human of all time.

It was the best show of 2007. Maybe the best show I've ever seen, eva.

I've maxed my Vegas quota for the year but if you haven't, you should catch her at the Pearl, tomorrow. Get in the car and go.


Joanie said...

Wow, great post.
You're so lucky you got to see her live!
Bjork is so amazing. I adore her.
I just saw the Cribs episode with her. It's interesting and unique, just like her.

ninja rad said...

your eloquence is superb. i saw the tour back in october at madison square garden and this brought back the most amazingly vivid memories. those green lasers! we got the treat of having antony live to sing 'dull flame of desire' with her - it brought me to tears. i love bjork!!!