red lights

Bjork From the Inside

Civic Opera House
Chicago, IL
Oct. 14, 2001

Story by Max Jensen
Photo by Stevie Styles

On Sunday night the enigmatic Bjork brought her enchanting and surreal performance to the Civic Opera House. Yes, the swan was there draped over her shoulder forgetting or reveling in the controversy she created at last years Academy Awards. The 34-year-old Icelandic bard / singer happily opened with the poetic and introspective lullaby "Frosti." This would be an evening in which Bjork would play what Bjork wanted to play and not cater to the ticket paying whims of the audience. As everyone would soon see this is when you literally feel the inner workings of an artist who totally immerses herself into her art.
Bjork's music is avant-garde pop with a dash of refreshing weirdness. Her angelic voice caught it's wings on the beautiful "Human Behavior" and took flight on "Pagan Poetry." She had no problem competing for supremacy with her 54 piece orchestra, 11 person choir and accomplished harpist. She unleashed some newly found guttural cries on "Cocoon" and found her digging through the souls of Vikings past to help bring her voice back to it's normal octave.
She completely detached herself from her audience and fellow musicians. A genuine artists's way of communicating what lies deep inside. Changing her clothes, Bjork came out for act II wearing a scarlet dress that resembled a ballerina from the devil's own court. "Joga" had the orchestra and her bite the head off off all the prettiness and sharpen their knives so they could penetrate the heart even deeper. "Hyper-ballad" and "Army of Me" had harpist Zeena Parkins lay a seductive web for Bjork's intense warblings. The lucky few who saw this intense and personal woman perform tonight spied a woman in tune with herself and her art.

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