Björk - Hollywood Palladium - 6/5/13
Credit: Debi Del Grande Björk at the Palladium Monday
Better than: Dissecting a pig.
It was science class last night as Björk performed her nature-based production Biophilia for a relatively-intimate crowd at the Hollywood Palladium. (She plays the Bowl on Tuesday.) With the show, the Icelandic icon and artist's artist demonstrated that science and the natural world are sensual, feminine, and, much like Björk herself, possessing properties both delicate and powerful.
This was Björk's second of three nights in Los Angeles performing the theater in the round production, based on her 2011 album of the same name. This homage to nature, as she told the Weekly, is her version of an opera and her attempt to "bow to nature" with a fusion of science, technology and art.
The show was a multisensory spectacle, sophisticated, playful, and inventive. It primarily featured songs from Biophilia, with a handful of hits sprinkled in throughout. The evening was more theater than concert, as Björk and her 16 member female choir played on a circular stage, also populated by a harp, a pipe organ, a Tesla Coil and other innovative instruments built especially for the show. It also relied heavily on iPad generated sounds. (Biophilia was released with a suite of custom apps conceived by Björk herself.)
The performance began just after 8:30pm with a recorded introduction by the show's narrator, Richard Attenborough, an actor whose work has often dipped into the realm of the natural world. A cheer rose from back of the crowd as Björk appeared, the spotlights catching the top of her wild untamed purple and green wig as she made her way to the stage.
Credit: Debi Del Grande Björk performing Biophilia on Monday
Wearing a sparkly silver and purple knee length dress with a long purple cape attached, she began the show with the sparse, moody "Thunderbolt," the bass line for which was provided by the Tesla coil hanging from the ceiling. This iconic object of science history juxtaposed against the delicacy of the intricately harmonized (and barefoot) chorus.