Even though some fans had mixed feelings about Björk’s latest release, Volta, they still showed up in full force Monday evening (Sept. 17) at Atlanta’s elaborate Fox Theatre. The sold-out show — a mix of dance club excitement and tribal costuming — was a bit atypical and otherworldly for the Hotlanta landmark, but was a perfect theme for Björk’s career-spanning set.
Show opener “Earth Invaders” featured bursts of 10-foot high flames and various flags hanging from above stage, introducing Björk to countless exuberant, anxious fans in-waiting. The flamboyant Icelandic songstress, wearing a robe-like gown that faded from pink to white, capturing a look between a butterfly and pagan goddess, worked her way through a 90-minute performance full of fan favorites like “Army of Me,” “Hyper-Ballad,” and “Pagan Poetry” mixed in with newer Volta songs including “Wanderlust” and “Innocence.” Electronics masterminds Mark Bell (LFO) and Damon Peter, drummer Chris Corsano, and the Wonder Brass, a flag-headed, tribal-robed 10-piece brass section from Björk’s native land, were also on hand to help with the sonic display.
While three monitors showed the crowd what the electronic wizards were up to, Björk played air drums, sauntered and danced about the stage amongst a visual display of sharp green lasers, strobe lights, flying kites and confetti, even wowing the audience at one point by shooting magical spider silk-like streamers from her hands. But the show relied upon more than just visual gimmicks, alternating from emotional confessions to dance-floor anthems proving that Björk can rock the best of both worlds.
The pop phenomenon and her musical army re-emerged for an encore including Debut standout, “The Anchor Song,” and closed the festive show with the rousing number “Declare Independence,” which tied the mood and décor of the evening together. Björk cried out, “Make your own flag” to the all too willing crowd as the evening came to a close. Upcoming pop stars take note: this is how it’s done.
We Asked: Volta is, strangely enough, also the name of a Swedish company that makes vacuums. If you were to name an album after a company, what would you call it and why?
Name: Liana NittiAge: 25Hometown: Altamonte Springs, FLOccupation: Artist “Charmin. It’s sweet and comfy.”
Name: Liz WrightAge: 22Hometown: Lawrenceville, GAOccupation: Marketing coordinator “Patrón. I like Tequila.”
Name: Mindy SimmsAge: 29Hometown: Savannah, GAOccupation: Project administrator “Why Me? Because I think that life is all about a series of questions.”
Name: Michelle Stephanie RussellAge: 39Hometown: Atlanta, GAOccupation: Part-time drag performer “Electrolux. It has very little to do with the company, and I just like the sound of it.”
Name: Ovi MenendezAge: 28Hometown: Miami, FLOccupation: Waiter “Mattel because it brings me back to being a kid.”
Name: SolomonAge: 22Hometown: Macon, GAOccupation: Student “Pussy Galore. I saw t-shirts from them in San Francisco.”
Name: Ashley WinningAge: 27Hometown: Toronto, ONOccupation: Grad Student “Kiss My Face because it’s a natural with organic ingredients and they do not test on animals.”
Name: Matthew Lehosit/ Matthew SmithAge: Both 26Hometown: West Virginia/Atlanta, GAOccupation: Marketing/Server “George Forman Ltd. because we’re hot and we’ll cook you on both sides at the same time.”
Björk, declaring her ‘Independence’ / Photo by Julia Norman
The Icelandic chanteuse delivering her ‘Pagan Poetry’ / Photo by Julia Norman
The ‘Wanderlust’ that is Björk / Photo by Julia Norman
‘All is Full of Love’ at the Fox / Photo by Julia Norman