Tag Archives: music

A gig at the Opera House

At the beginning of May we saw the Icelandic folk/pop/alt band Of Monsters and Men in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House. The Opera House opens its doors to contemporary artists pretty often as I’ve seen a few bands there over the years. We were seated in the stalls for the first time, which gave us a real close up view.

Of Monsters and Men

Listening to their albums, I’m aware that the band is a large one, having two lead singers, but I wasn’t quite prepared for 9 to 12 people on the stage!

The audience was a real mix, from under 20’s to over 60’s – a real surprise given that the group is only 5 years old and doesn’t get a lot of mainstream radio play. I guess these days people can discover new music in all sorts of ways.

Of Monsters and Men

They played the content of their two albums, and a few odds and ends, and their music sounded grander on stage than on their album. To me, they are one of those bands that sound better live than on their recordings. It even brought the crowd to their feet every now and then!

Of Monsters and Men

And yes, the smoke machine and strobe lighting was in use. Not surprising given the atmospheric nature of much of their songs.

Of Monsters and Men

All in all, a good night out.

Icelandic Sounds

Ever since I bought Bjork’s 90’s classic album, Post during my uni years, I’ve had a fascination for Icelandic music and Iceland in general. One of my dream holidays as a photographer would be to go to Iceland, but while that remains a pipe dream (for now) I have gotten closer to that mystical island through the music of Bjork and Sigur Ros.

Today I discovered the music of Sigur Ros’s lead singer, Jonsi. My first listen of Jonsi’s first solo album, Go left me so joyful that it lifted me out of the slump I’d been in for much of the morning. It’s a heady combination of Jonsi’s falsetto, lush orchestration, and a sense of optimism that I really rarely hear in modern music nowadays. While I describe most of Sigur Ros’s music as optimistic melancholy, the music of its lead singer is positive and joyful.

Just have a look at this:

I might have only listened to this album once, but for me this will end up being my ‘album of the year’. Which makes me glad to have bought tickets to Jonsi’s show at the Enmore Theatre in early August. Judging by what’s on the album and the reviews of the album and his gigs online, it’s going to be stupendous.

The White Album Concert

Full rendition of the White Album led by Tim Rogers, Chris Cheney, Phil Jamieson and Josh Pyke? I was intrigued.

I had the White Album on tape when I was growing up and listened to it every now and then. Plus I’ve had recent exposure to some of the stuff through watching Across the Universe. The artists themselves are an intriguing bunch. I’ve seen all of them play at various times (You Am I repeatedly), except for Josh Pyke. So why not all of them in the one gig?

I already knew that Tim Rogers was a fantastic showman but I think these songs showed him at his vocal best. Chris Cheney is a venerable machine when it comes to guitar solo. But the surprise packages were Phil Jamieson and Josh Pyke. I didn’t realise that Phil had such a sweet voice (I guess he doesn’t get to show that side in Grinspoon), and Josh was fantastic on the sweet McCartney ballads, especially Julia. But what impressed me most was the energy and enthusiasm that really brought the songs to life.