Watch Björk’s unforgettable Governors Ball performance
As someone who’s seen Björk live: When you have the chance to see Björk live, take it. The Icelandic goddess-on-Earth is constantly pushing the boundaries of her music in general, but especially so in its expression. Just this past week, she debuted a 360° panoramic virtual reality video for “Stonemilker,” the opener off of new album Vulnicura, and it’s one of the most interesting and innovative uses of the music video format ever. So, when she took the Governors Ball Music Festival stage in New York on Saturday, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that her performance absolutely brought it.
Playing as the sun set over NYC’s Governors Island, Björk brought her artful pop opera to festival attendees with a set list of songs spanning her decades-long career. Her voice, magnetic against her signature lush organic and electric instrumentals, popped in the live setting, and she was dressed like an alien queen (not *the* Alien Queen) summoning her human attendants via strange but beautiful songs.
Festival sets for weird music acts are generally a tough crowd since, as with all things, the more mainstream artists draw the larger crowds, while long, non-commercial songs (arguably the backbone of Björk’s discography) lose listeners quickly. As Billboard reports about this particular set, “By the end of Björk’s performance, the crowd was noticeably paltry but dedicated, as the gathering of diehards rooted on the performance.” But those diehards are emblematic of the many of us who would happily brave festival grounds for the chance to hear one of the hardest working women in music do her gorgeously unique thing. Luckily, we have this video of the Governors Ball performance to let us live that dream. But how about for her next project, Björk puts together a virtual reality tour stop? If anyone’s up for that challenge, it’s her.