Last night, Björk visited Perth, on her Volta tour, to play at the Big Day Out.
Travis and I arrived at the Showgrounds late afternoon, hoping to secure a good spot to watch Björk’s set. We lined up for 40 minutes to get into the up-close-and-personal D-barricade section. Arcade Fire were playing which made the wait more bearable. It would have been nice to see them live properly, rather than being squished amongst smelly teenagers – but the line proved to be worth the wait.
It was dusk when Björk’s Brass Band entered the stage, playing their instruments in their brightly coloured outfits. Björk started the set with the upbeat, carnival sounding Earth Intruders.
This was then followed by the sensual Unravel. I’d never seen a crowd so in awe before, watching so very quietly as she belted out the beautiful lyrics. Her voice is so powerful and distinct. Björk then played Hunter. It must be said Björk is such a unique and kooky dancer. The visual display of the animal flags combined with her dancing was amazing.
Björk introduced the next song, noting in her tiny voice that it was a special request. I was so happy when it was All is Full of Love. While I love Joga, I had a feeling it was one or the other. And I was ecstatic that ‘Peerrrrrrth’, as Björk playfully called us, was lucky enough to have my most favourite song played. The song was so so beautiful and emotional. It was amazing to finally listen to it live.
The next few songs were from her more recent albums, Vespertine and Medúlla. These songs displayed her beautiful voice, poetic lyrics and eclectic melodies. Björk then warned us that Desired Constellation would be “the last slow one before it gets dark”. The sun had just set, and the crowd was all but prepared for the booming that is Army of Me. With an incredible laser light show combined with the stormy beats, this song so appropriately demonstrated the diversity in her music.
The set continued with I Miss You, the song about a perfect lover, whom she hasn’t yet met. Then, it was the theatrical and dramatic Bachelorette followed by an Icelandic folk song, Vökuró. Wanderlust, my favourite from the latest album, was then played.
Björk announced “it’s going to get a little crazy”.
The spectacular Hyperballad mixed with LFO’s dance track Freak got the crowd dancing followed by Pluto. It was fantastic! Hands were flying everywhere. Finally, Björk dedicated what seems to be the Volta tour signature song, Declare Independence, to the people of Australia.
Thank you Björk for the most amazing show, now I want to see you again!
Possibly, Maybe… I will.
I really didn’t know what to expect from a Björk performance, I had previously watched Björk’s MTV live DVD, but in the end this turned out not to be a good indicator. Her performance at the BDO was simply amazing and above all expectations.
She started with her more familiar songs, and I was happy I got to hear Hunter, but as her performance progressed and as it became night, her songs got louder, faster and noisier. The change from her more emotive songs like All Is Full of Love, to the harder Army of Me and techno sounding Hyperballed, all with lazers was much unexpected.
It was the best live performance I have witnessed. Thanks Björk for coming to Perth and thanks Sonya for getting me into her music.