The last highlight of my trip to Colorado was seeing Björk perform at Red Rocks. It was my first time seeing her live and my first time at the venue.
I was staying in Golden, so Red Rocks wasn’t far away or difficult to find. I had to wait a long time in traffic before I could park the car, though. It was after 8:00, so I missed some of Joanna Newsom’s opening set. It’s just as well. I heard about 45 minutes and that was 40 minutes too many. How can someone so cute make such a noise?!
I had mixed feelings about the venue itself. It’s a beautiful location with crisp sound, but a part of me thinks they ruined the area by turning it into a concert venue. I also don’t appreciate having to sit on railroad ties. If I’m spending $75 for a concert ticket, I expect a back on my seat and a cushion. I’m just grumpy that way.
There was about a half hour in-between sets.
Björk eventually took the stage and began what turned out to be one of the strangest shows I’ve ever seen. First of all, there were about twenty people on stage. Björk’s touring with an all-female brass band and there must have been at least a dozen of them. It was also the most colorful show I’ve ever seen. There were lasers, vibrant outfits, and flags everywhere. There was something futuristic and alien about the performance. I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if a huge spaceship had shown up halfway through the show and started abducting audience members. At the same time, though, there was an ancient, almost tribal, aspect to the show. It was an odd combination. I guess that’s Björk for you.
Here’s the setlist:
As you can see from the setlist, Björk sang five songs each from Volta and Homogenic, three each from Medúlla and Post, and one each from Debut and Vespertine. It was a good mix of songs, but I would’ve gladly traded all three Medúlla songs just to hear “Pagan Poetry”. I was looking forward to the “love chant” at the end of that song. It’s my favorite part of any Björk song and I thought for sure I’d get to hear it live.
Personal highlights included an energetic version of “Earth Intruders” to open the show. I think the Volta version of the song is muffled and off, but they really worked the kinks out live. I also preferred the live version of “The Dull Flame of Desire”. I think Antony’s vocals ruin the version on Volta, so it was nice for me to hear what the song sounded like without his warblings. I also really enjoyed all three of the Post songs. “I Miss You” was cool because I wasn’t expecting it at all. “Army of Me” has always been one of my favorite Björk songs (and never fails to take me back to the summer I thought Tank Girl was a good movie). The best of all, though, was “Hyper-ballad”. The end of the song featured a beat-driven freak-out that was almost enough to get me dancing. Those are some serious beats right there.
Of course, there are always going to be some negatives at a concert. The only one worth mentioning took place during “Jòga”. It sounded like the brass band had just gotten their instruments earlier in the day and hadn’t bothered to practice with them. The horns were too loud and all over the place. I could barely hear Bjork’s vocals over the mess of horns.
Overall, though, a botched “Jòga” and not getting to hear “Pagan Poetry” weren’t enough to ruin my night. I ended up thoroughly enjoying myself, and the highlights far outweighed any perceived negatives. I see a lot of shows, but this wasn’t one I’ll forget anytime soon. I’ll definitely try to catch up with Björk on her next tour. I just hope I don’t have to fly another 1,200 miles to do it!
Here are a few leftover pictures: