By Wee Ling Soh
Wondering if anyone else thinks the gig was too short or if Björk sang too few songs that we know. Ok so we like her but not to the extent of knowing lyrics to every single song like the girl behind us, and who made it clear everyone in the vicinity should know by drowning out Björk’s haunting voice every chance she could. Well we didn’t pay (hypothetically speaking, IF we’ve had to pay) to listen to this young upstart at the International Gymnastics Center, which by the way isn’t as out-of-the-way as it seems because surprise, surprise, this Shanghaiist actually ended up walking home to Jing’an after the gig.
Funnily, we didn’t recognize most of the songs even though Volta was the only Björk album we currently have on iTunes. At the risk of being thrashed by Björk loyalists, we may attribute this to how her songs seem to blend into one another, sounding like one looong Björk anthem with no beginning or end if one listens to her long enough.
Also does anyone think if her set was a little too brass-heavy? But we suppose it’s reasonable since the brass section couldn’t have just played say, two songs then spend the rest of their time backstage when they had come all the way from Iceland. We dig their colorful outfits complete with little flags that was very entertaining to watch when the players dance.
The high point of the gig for this Shanghaiist was definitely when ‘Declare Independence’ came on as the encore finale song. Absolutely fitting – it was dynamic and explosive, and
By Jake Newby
From the outside, there could hardly be a more suitable venue for Björk in Shanghai than the UFO-like International Gymnastics Centre near Zhong Shan Park, but unfortunately the seating arrangements on the inside (rows of chairs on the floor of the gym) were slightly less appropriate and more like a school assembly. Security officials did their best to stop people getting up and dancing until, several songs after show opener ‘Earth Intruders’ (see video above) and having just delivered the throbbing ‘Innocence’, Björk exclaimed “can you dance?!” half asking, half pleading with the audience. She didn’t need to ask twice. A surge of people got to their feet and finally the concert came to life.
Stomping her way bare-foot through a set largely dominated by material from her latest album Volta and punctuated by her yelps of “xie xie”, Björk still found time to play classic tracks such as the outstanding ‘Bachelorette’ and the pulsating ‘Army of Me’. With backing from a live Icelandic brass section (the ingeniously named Wonderbrass), songs such as the horn heavy ‘Wanderlust’ demonstrated Björk’s gift for spectacle and her incredible delivery, before she closed out the set with the anthemic ‘Declare Independence’, chanting the name of a huge piece of real estate west of Sichuan and Yunnan amongst a hail of streamers.
View photos here
2 March 2008, 8pm
By Dan Washburn
If you are reading this shortly after we posted this, that means you, like us, did not attend Björk’s performance tonight at the Shanghai International Gymnastic Center (read our previous post). We have a kind of good excuse — we promise — but several other Shanghaiist contributors are probably watching Björk gyrate in person right this minute, and they will be adding their thoughts, photos and videos as they stumble home tonight or recover tomorrow morning. Keep your eyes on this space. It should update often.
We’d also like to learn what you thought of the show, and we’d like to see your photos and videos (if you took any … we know she is touchy about that kind of thing). Leave your thoughts and links to your pics/vids in a comment.
For now, enjoy the above video of Björk in Hong Kong.