June 2, 2013
Bjork transformed the Palladium last night.
In both a geographic and metaphysical sense, everything about it was different. For the first of Bjork's four appearances in Los Angeles, a stage was set up in the middle of the floor. Every corner had a musical set up: a harp, marimbas, electronic drumkit, programming gear. Four 10-foot pendulum harps were installed on one corner, and on another side, a conical screen rose up to the ceiling, housing twin musical Tesla coils.
Double-sided jumbotrons were arranged in a halo above the stage, screening images from Bjork's educational app suite of music (and album), Biophilia. Seats snaked around the set up, making for a helluva tight show — intimate yet visceral, cerebral yet wholly organic.
Throughout the show, screens above the stage showed images such as dancing DNA strands and cell mitosis and gummi worms sneaking into a dead seal's eye sockets and stars and the universe all that shit that you think about when you're trying not to think (because you're in yoga class trying to concentrate on breathe in corpse pose, or you're walking alone at night).
All these images, while obvious, didn't seem pretentious. In Bjork's music, there is creation, the goddess, life and death. These are all big things that she wants us to think about, and Biophilia is the context by which she wants us to judge and deliberate her music on. The fact that last night's show was possibly the most sublime concert experience of my life is proof that the Bjork equation (wherein metaphysics + music – psychedelic drugs = beauty) does, indeed, work.
Critical Bias: I have been 20 feet away from Bjork twice in my life, and both times I wept like a baby.
The Crowd: Lots of gay guys in costumes and artsy chicks.
Overheard In The Crowd: “Maybe at the Hollywood Bowl she'll sing 'Big Time Sensuality.''”
Random Notebook Dump: I want to watch the Hollywood Bowl show to see how different it will be.
- Dark Matter
- Hidden Place
- Mouth's Cradle
- Generous Palmstroke
- Where Is the Line?
- Pagan Poetry
- Mutual Core