Bjork at Echo Beach, Toronto – Gig review

July 17, 2013

Bjork at Echo Beach - Lucia Graca, Music Vice Magazine

Photo credit:  Lucia Graca 

Who: Bjork
When: 16 July 2013
Where: Echo Beach, Toronto
One Word: Original

As far as outdoor venues go, Echo Beach is as good as any; perhaps, better than most. Proximity to the lake and the pleasant air, allows for corporeal comfort. Beer garden upon entering the facility is a bonus, as are the additional picnic tables strewn across the grounds. Add the nearly perfect, smoldering summer night with a dash of Bjork and you have a veritable music-filled marvel replete with frolicking maidens moving to a ritualistic pagan ceremony.

Seriously, Bjork and her troupe seem to have boundless energy. Moving about on stage, song after song – thankfully too as there were no big screen video feeds for those of us relegated to the back of the venue (don’t want to get too close to the sweaty bodies at the front). The “maidens” it turns out, are her backing vocals; actually a choir.

Bjork delivers a solid hour and a half of energy, melodies and visuals with little talk between songs other than to thank us for being there – in Spanish as well as English. Most songs were from her latest album Biophilia, which I must admit, does not resonate with me so much in its digital format – although I may have to give it another chance, as the live performances of songs such as “Moon”, “Cosmogony,” “Crystalline” and “Nattura” were impressive.

I’ve been a fan of Bjork since 1988 with the Sugarcubes and I think she hit her stride as a solo artist with 1993’s Debut followed by Post in 1995. Bjork kept those of us with longer memories happy with the inclusion of some of her earlier work – the stellar “Army of Me,” Hyperballad,” “Joga” and “Pagan Poetry” to name a couple.

Bjork is truly an original artist who does not shy away from experimentation with beats, melodies and other sounds. Her influence has no doubt made me a follower of other bands – Sigur Ros and Of Monsters and Men, based solely on their shared geographic origins. To be able to attend and appreciate Bjork while she’s still relevant and innovative, is definitely a highlight of my summer… (so far).

© Dee Dee Duric, Music Vice

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