Björk @ Olympic Hall (16th Feb '08)
Out Of This World
4,200 voices screamed in unison as Björk's road crew lowered a backdrop of several large flags signaling that the Icelandic songstress would soon be appearing at Seoul's Olympic Hall.
Currently in the midst of a monstrous 18-month tour, tonight's gig marked her first visit to Korea. Renowned for her unparalleled level of creativity and artistic vision, anticipation was high as the lights dimmed at 7:15 p.m. When a dozen horn players clad in multi-coloured jumpers from Iceland's Wonder Brass troupe marched across the stage to the sound of "Brennið þið Vitar" it was evident that she wouldn't disappoint. A keyboardist, drummer, and two electronic musicians in charge of creating the awesome array of ambient soundscapes and beats followed Wonder Brass before Björk made her entrance.
Hidden by the black and blue lights barely illuminating the stage, her hooded and caped figure twisted and turned while singing "Earth Intruders" from last year's Volta, the darkness teasing the capacity crowd eagerly wanting to see what visual treats were in store. The lights were raised as she began "Hunter" from Homogenic revealing her puffy metallic dress and neon headband. Similar coloured accessories were splashed across the brows of Wonder Brass as well. Tip-toeing across the stage shaking her limbs to the spacey, eclectic rhythms, pop's most eccentric female artist looked like some sort of space age fairy ballerina.
Drawing equally from each of her six studio efforts, the first half of her 85-minute set was a very chilled affair as Björk and company focused on lush, avant lullabies such as Medulla's "Pleasure Is All Mine," her strong, distinct voice filling every corner of the mid-sized arena.
Green lasers shot out from between the flags backdrop during "Joga" to draw images on the rear wall of Olympic Hall causing audience members to turn and watch the abstract shapes stretching and shifting above them. They were a small sample of what was to come during an explosive version of "Army Of Me" from 1995's Post. A definite crowd favourite, the stage resembled one of Hongdae's (the hip bar and club district around Seoul's Hongik University) hot night spots as it was overtaken by a barrage of pulsating beats and flash bulbs. With confetti falling from the rafters, the party vibe continued during "Innocence," the small pieces of floating paper sparkling as they swirled around the lasers creating a hypnotizing effect.
Wonder Brass surrounded Björk at centre stage for closer "Pluto," the entire group nodding their heads and grooving while she sang. Strobe lights flickered while fans throughout the venue pumped their fists and cheered as Björk's ethereal vocals cut through the fast-paced techno number.
With the audience pleading for more, Wonder Brass again led the charge as Björk and her band returned for a two-song encore. Addressing the crowd for the first time, she said "It's good to be in Korea. I need you to help me. Can you sing 'Happy Birthday' song?" More than willing to oblige, everyone began singing "Happy Birthday", their voices suddenly falling quiet near the end when they collectively realized they didn't know who the birthday person was. On cue, though, Björk chimed in with the horn player's name.
A beautiful take of Debut's "Anchor Song," complete with a cute curtsey from the show's star, paved the way for her latest single, "Declare Independence." Lasers, spinning lights, confetti, and lots of dancing, both on stage and off, accompanied the politically-charged hard-edged, minimalist-electro pop number. Putting most Vegas-style productions to shame, as things wound down all that could be seen were bouncing silhouettes under the sea of flashing colours. Björk's accented voice screamed "thank you" one last time while making her final exit, the audience giving a thunderous applause to show their appreciation for the awesome spectacle they had just witnessed.
Björk will perform in Tokyo on February 19 and 22 and is Osaka on February 25. Japan, you are in for a definite treat.
-- setlist --
Brennið þið Vitar / Earth Intruders/ Hunter/ Aurora/ All Is Full Of Love/ Hope/ Pleasure Is All Mine/ Vertebrae/ Joga/ Desired Constellation/ Army Of Me/ Innocence/ Bachelorette/ Vokuro/ Wanderlust/ Hyperballad/ Pluto/ Anchor Song/ Declare Independence
report byh shawn and photos by hanasan
|mag files : Björk|
Out Of This World : (08/02/16 @ Olympic Hall, Seoul) : review by shawn,photos by hanasan
ビョークがビョークである所以 : (07/06/22 @ Glastonbury Festival, Pilton) : review by kaori, photos by yusuke
photo report : (07/06/22 @ Glastonbury Festival, Pilton) : photos by ryota
photo report : (07/06/22 @ Glastonbury Festival, Pilton) : photos by yusuke
21世紀の発明家か : (01/12/02 @ meiwajyoshi university) : report by nishioka , photos by hanasan
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