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bjork / virgin festival, toronto island / 08/09/07

...Bjork's performance at the opening night of the Virgin Festival was so transporting that I forgive the festival its glaring faults as an event.

Bjork has been making strange and beautiful music for a couple of decades, and she's still exploring a frontier that nobody else can find.

Her dynamic show seemed to exist in three tenses at once: present, future and primeval past. Her music from ten years ago (she played several items from 1997's Telegram) sounded as fresh and original as the things she pulled from last spring's Volta. The show was impeccably planned and produced, yet she romped around the stage in her Pierrot-as-baroque-angel outfit as if making everything up on the spot.

No one else could tour with a brass band and make it seem like the coolest sound on earth. The 20 women of the Icelandic band Wonder Brass, and a battery of live percussion, grounded the music in organic tones that gave new point to the boldly synthetic sounds of synthesizers and drum machines. Songs such as Declare Independence and Earth Invaders were wildly spectacular, but for me the most mind-blowing thing was her performance of Cover Me, which with its clotted organ accompaniment sounded like high-church contemporary music of a kind that would never otherwise transfix 25,000 pop fans standing in a dark field...
Robert Everett-Green

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