Life in KC

The Big Show: Sigur Rós at the Midland

Icelandic band Sigur Rós plays a pared down (and sold out) show at the Midland on Wednesday, Oct. 12.
Icelandic band Sigur Rós plays a pared down (and sold out) show at the Midland on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland

Last month, the Kansas City Symphony presented concerts that recast the music of David Bowie and Led Zeppelin with classical arrangements. Sigur Rós is likely to be accorded the same sort of treatment in a decade or two.

Not only is the Icelandic band sufficiently popular (the Oct. 12 concert is sold out), Sigur Rós creates epic soundscapes. The refined arrangements of the band and the countertenor of the group’s vocalist Jónsi owe as much to Beethoven as to Bowie. Compositions such as “Ára Bátur” and “Olsen Olsen” echo the ecstatic triumph of the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

Aware of the connection between its highly refined form of rock and the ethereal grandeur of classical music, Sigur Rós has incorporated expanded instrumentation into its recordings and concerts. The band is paring back on its current world tour.

A recent notification at Sigur Rós’ website revealed that “the group will be performing without the string and brass sections that have been characteristic of recent performances.” The two sets Sigur Rós will play at the Oct. 12 show are likely to include new material as well as beloved songs from an extensive discography that dates back to 1997.

Fans of Sigur Rós’ freewheeling rock tendencies will be in heaven. Admirers who prefer the more formal aspects of the otherworldly group may have to hold out for a prospective tribute concert by the Kansas City Symphony.

8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12. Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland. Tickets were $59.50-$69.50 in advance.  

 

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