Björk – Hydro, Glasgow – 25 Nov 2019

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I have been a ‘superfan’ of Björk for so many years, starting when I first heard ‘Birthday’ in 1987 and rushed out to buy it. I’ve seen her a number of times since and her music has been a big part of my life. I have to admit though that her last two albums have left me cold (though I tried), but I’m still supportive, so I had much tredipdation going to this ‘Cornucopia’ tour show after the relatively underwhelming occasion last time I saw her 3 years ago.  Well I needn’t have worried since the show was very, very good and she reaffirmed some of my faith in her.

What an incredible visual spectacle. Huge multiple screens including in front of the stage, incredible digital movie projections, amazing set design and eye catching costumes. Also a massive 3D surround sound system, brilliantly immersive and effective (though sometimes boomy bass and overdone crunchy beats did my head in). All off the scale bigger and better than anything ever seen before. Simply stunning.

Great to hear so many older songs too including some of my all time favourites from her ‘Homogenic’, ‘Vespertine’ and ‘Medulla’ era. These songs re-imagined though were of course not quite as good as when originally performed (some a bit messy really), but thanks for doing them and I sang along blissfully! Some of the latest ‘Utopia’ album songs also worked better live and made a bit more sense to me. But I still think many are rambling and unsatisfying. Luckily the visuals, sound and performance were good distractions from my thinking that they don’t work so well as ‘songs’. The many musicians with flutes were cool, but for me the musical stars were the 16 strong Hamrahlíðarkórinn choir who opened the show and appeared throughout. Absolutely wonderful.

Björk’s ‘ Utopia’ concept has a big environmental message which was reinforced, not only by the music, lyrics and visuals, but by some projected narrative culminating in a special video message from Greta Thunberg. Quite brilliant. I hope many people took note and will act upon the crystal clear and compelling message (but probably not).

Overall, was I impressed? Most definitely. Was I moved? Not as much as I hoped for unfortunately. Just making everything bigger and more spectacular doesn’t create more engagement. Ultimately, I go for the music, and though this was pretty good, she has done much better on many occasions before. Still the queen of everything though!

Björk requested no pics or videos and I, like most people, politely complied, so pics above are from Björk’s Facebook and no live videos, so these will have to do just now! …

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1 Response to Björk – Hydro, Glasgow – 25 Nov 2019

  1. Pingback: My 2019 Music Review | George Glen

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