Bjork in New York

writeup by kathy
May 05, 2007, New York City, NY


Once again, Chris is the sneakiest husband in the world! After being certain that tickets were completely sold out for a beloved and rare Bjork concert in the New York area, I received an email from Chris saying “look at this picture”. When I opened the attachment, it was a map of the United Palace Theater in New York, with “you are here” pasted next to some orchestra seats. I can’t believe what a cool hubby I have!!!

We drove down to New Haven Saturday morning and took the train in to Penn Station. We stayed at an Econo Lodge in Times Square, which was very small but not too bad for being the lowest priced hotel in the area. We were able to grab a subway to part of Broadway where the theater was.

The United Palace Theater was old but beautiful, with gold ceiling tiles and pretty victorian decor. It was suprisingly small, I would compare it to the Calvin Theater in Northampton. The seats were close together, though, which made it kind of hard to scream and wave your hands. But we did, anyway.

The opening act was this African band named Konono No.1. They were very talented but we began to get tired as they played the same song for 45 minutes, and it was a repetetive african beat! When the set was over we all waited in anticpation for Bjork.

Suddenly the curtains started to move. You couldn’t see Bjork but you could hear her voice starting to sing “Cover Me”. It was a great effect to the song, hearing her sing without seeing her. Everyone was going nuts to see her! After the quiet song was over, the curtains burst open to reveal her in all of her rainbow glittered tights splendor, complete with an Icelandic all-female horn band!

She burst right into the first single off of her new album, “Earth Intruders”.

All night she danced between old favorites (the crowd went wild for songs like “Hyperballad” which she added a unique techno beat to, “Pagan Poetry” and “Army of Me”, and sneak-peeks of songs off of her new album, which sounded like Bjork at her best. The horn band was lively and added a unique twist to some of her older songs. Bjork has an amazing way of coming up with ideas that sound like they wouldn’t absolutely never work , yet somehow gracefully manages to pull it off! Tonight was no exception.

Bjork’s voice, as always, was spine-tingling to hear live, and her energy is almost inhuman. She was adorable and polite, jumping for joy when she invited her “guests” to perform on stage with her—including an Icelandic crooner named “Antony” and a Chinese performer who played an instrument called a “pipa”. The woman was incredible with her skills and complemented Bjorks voice beautifully. Bjork’s voice floated off of the rafters and made us melt. It was a mind-blowing experience to be in her presence.

After an energizing finale of “Pluto” left everyone screaming for an Encore, Bjork returned cheerfully with quite possibly her most energetic and kickass song yet. A song called “Declare Indepenence” from Volta. Everyone went wild and the concert hall turned into a temporary rave, everyone jumping and dancing while she screamed “Raise your Flag” and we all raised our arms in unison.

We met a really cool girl who sat near us at the concert and we all walked back to the subway together, talking about what a great time we had. We grabbed a late dinner at a European sandwich shop and headed to bed. The next morning we hung around the city for a few hours (and grabbed a slice of pizza from New York’s famous “Famiglia” pizzeria), and then boarded our train back from Penn Station. It was an unforgettable weekend, and I can’t thank my unforgettable husband enough for the experience!

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