LA Philharmonic

LA’s world-famous orchestra adds an entire extra universe of sound to the Icelandic trio’s performances

Sigur Rós with the LA Philharmonic. All photos by Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

Sigur Rós with the LA Philharmonic. All photos by Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

If the experience of Sigur Rós live can be described as wondrous, then beholding them with an orchestra is a truly transcendent experience. Prior to this tour as a three-piece, I’ve always seen them with some form of miniature assemblage accompanying them, whether it’s the obscure-instrument-wielding Amiina or the Icelandic indie-folk group Parachutes, but never with a full symphony orchestra supporting them. Originally advertised as “career-spanning sets including fan-favorites (with orchestral accompaniment) and – “if things go to plan” – new, unreleased music (without orchestra)”, each night was a set similar to the current touring setlist, with the first half of the night seeing the band accompanied by the orchestra and the second with them playing solo. Despite the fact that each show had the same set of songs, each night was a different experience as the band and engineers discovered how to make the sound best fill the room, and the results were utterly spectacular.

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