Björk at the Walt Disney Concert Hall | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Björk at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, May 30th, 2017

Jun 02, 2017
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It didn’t matter that I saw her do a near-identical set six months ago in Reykjavík during Iceland Airwaves. It didn’t matter that my seat was behind the stage, so I had a more intimate view of conductor Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason than of the evening’s star. When Björk took the stage at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Tuesday night, on the last stop of her Vulnicura tour, I teared up.

Once and a while I even out-right cried. My mother once (accurately) described Björk as the Beyoncé of Iceland—appropriate since the Nordic singer/songwriter was given a Lemonade-sized welcome. First with silence so reverent you could hear every step of her boot clad feet across the stage. Then rapturous applause and more than a few of the obligatory shouts of “I love you.” She was treated like a returning goddess and she looked the role too, first in a black gown that was equal parts PVC and tulle, and later in a long pink robe. Elaborate masks to match—naturally.

Perhaps predictably, the first half of the show leaned heavily on cuts from Vulnicura, the album inspired by her breakup with partner Matthew Barney. One has to admire the sheer guts it takes to get on stage and mourn the death of her family (“Family”) and romantic death (“A History of Touches”). They are heavy, emotion-laced songs made all the more so by backing from the LA Philharmonic.

While the first half of the show was no doubt more taxing for its creator—originally she was set to perform at Airwaves 2015, but pulled out because she wasn’t ready to perform the songs live—the second half was riddled with standout singles from Björk decades-spanning career, including “Bachelorette,” “I’ve Seen It All,” and “Joga”—the last two performed back to back to create an emotional hit so potent it could be weaponized. Which, for those who love Björk, could pretty much describe her career as a whole.


1. Stone Milker

2. Lionsong

3. History of Touches

4. Black Lake

5. Family

6. Notget Intermission


8. I’ve Seen It All

9. Joga

10. Vertebrae

11. Bachelorette

12. Quicksand

13. Mouth Mantra


14. Anchor Song

15. Plútó




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