Photo Courtesy of Joseph Edwards / Set Stage
With a touring career spanning four decades, Björk’s “Cornucopia” is her most elaborate set to date. Which is a huge statement, considering that much of her catalog already stimulates every sense within her listeners. Touching on themes of climate change and technology, along with a speech by Greta Thunberg, the stage design was something that appeared otherworldly – think a hike through your favorite trail after a rainy week, but intensified with a vision of cool colors trailed by warm hues. Also on the stage was a reverberation chamber, where she was able to perform select songs which captured the raw talent she possesses with her voice. Throughout the nearly two-hour-long production, a series of colorful, amorphous objects were intricately projected throughout the stage which corresponded beautifully with each beat, mood and story being told through each song. On stage, Björk was joined by Viibra, an all-female flute septet from Iceland, Tonality, an L.A.-based choir, and serpentwithfeet, a Brooklyn-based independent artist whom she performed “Blissing Me” with.
Of the 19 songs performed, most hail from her ninth studio album Utopia, along with some revamped fan favorites from her solo career. The opening song, “The Gate”, was absolutely captivating. She cooed “And I care for you, care for you” behind a dim screen, as her metallic face-mask occasionally coruscated, symbolizing a beacon of warmth and hope. I would say the scene that blew my mind was her performance of “Body Memory”, as the stage lit up bright and she was joined by a collection of souls projected around the stage. The song I looked forward to the most was “Sue Me”, because there is a particular line she says with an incredible attitude in the studio that I was eager to hear live. And twice she said with such ferocity: “SUE! ME! ALL! YOU! WANT!”. I LIVEDDD for that moment! Björk slay! But what I did enjoy the most about this show was seeing Björk fully immersed in the show she was performing. Watching her automatic bodily responses to the music, seeing her conduct herself with her hands, and all the appreciation she had for everyone who helped make this show possible conveyed to me that her passion for the art of music is completely there.
I first became a fan of Björk in 2018, and right away I wrote on my bucket list that I have to see her live. When Björk announced she was taking “Cornucopia” to the Chase Center in San Francisco, I knew I had to seize the opportunity, snagging myself floor seats for the closing night. I wish I could relive the night and feel those vibes all over again!
If there is an artist you enjoy coming to a venue near you, take that as your sign to see that artist live. Maybe KSJS has the tickets!
In the meantime, let’s quickly discuss the fact that, on top of singing, Björk writes, composes, and produces her music too. She is truly a once-in-a-lifetime innovator.
Written by: Joseph Edwards