The excitement was palpable as fans anticipated Björk’s arrival. Conversations in the crowd swirled, “We’ve actually been to Iceland and been to her house. She wasn’t there but her son was,” said a guy standing next to me. I had to ask if he’d seen Björk live. “No, this is the first time.” As her orchestra took their seats, we all knew it would a mere minute until the Icelandic queen would take the stage. And a conquering command she did take, transformed into a swallowtail butterfly effect of rich velvet and a kaleidoscope of colors that quivered even while she was standing still.
This, along with the visuals that played behind the orchestra were indicative of Björk’s thematic tome of music and nature as one, from beyond space and the universe all the way back to the glint of her eyes.
When “Stonemilker” emerged, a track from this year’s Vulnicura, the fans surrounding me screamed with glee, and with the basement beats of “Quicksand,” they obliged with the swaying of hips and heads. Embracing this Lepidoptera persona, her arms and body flitted and flowed with artistic beauty as she serenaded us all with “Lionsong,” which then dropped pulsating beats that threw all into a frenzy.
“Bachelorette” was simply breathtaking, with the violin strings wrapping invisible threads around her and the crowd, it felt as though we were all going to lift into the sky via Willy Wonka laughing gas. She was ever so gracious, with a “Thank you” after each song, in return to the love that emanated from the crowd to the stage.
As the show got closer to the end, Björk nearly threw the fans over the edge with “Human Behavior,” but not before wrapping her mind-blogging set with a small request: to sing along to “Hyperballad,” complete with an accompany pyrotechnics fire show. Her signature four elements were complete – fire in front of us, air blowing through Randalls Island, the muddied earth beneath our feet, and the water streaming from our eyes. No Björk, Thank You.