The Weird and Wonderful Björk: Biophilia Show Review

by Laurie Henzel

I got very lucky and scored a ticket to see Björk’s BIOPHILIA live show last night at the Hall of Science out in Queens, and I’m so glad I made the trip. Performed on a round stage in the middle of the circular building, underneath a giant Tesla Coil, Björk was flanked on all sides by what everyone knows is THE secret weapon to a compelling show: A chorus of 20 girls! (just ask Karen O!). The voices of the chorus of young women (they are from Iceland and are called Graduale Nobili) soared above and below Björk’s signature wails and added an ethereal feel to the science based song sequence. Video screens above the performers displayed beautiful and sometimes creepy images to accompany the songs subjects. The chorus were decked out in gold and blue mumus, while Björk wore a crazy skin tight blue dress with giant balloon like pillows on her breasts and thighs (very Leigh Bowery!) topped by the giant, teased and frizzed out red wig.

DNA, cosmology, deep sea creatures, lunar phases, viruses, these are the ideas behind the concept of the album, and while adventurous and beautiful, they are personally not my favorite Björk songs, maybe it’s because they were released on apps, and I’m the last person standing who doesn’t own an iphone? I don’t know.  The new songs (off of Biophilia) are not as approachable as her past albums (most folks I spoke to felt unfamiliar with the material, and a snoozing Lou Reed was spotted in the seating area) so luckily she did perform some older songs, such as “Hidden Place,” “Pagan Poetry,” “Nattura,” and a rousing encore of the punk “Declare Independence.” The cool thing about Björk is she is always pushing pop music’s boundaries, and this nature-based program includes a 3 week collaboration with the NYHS that includes interactive science and music workshops for middle-school children.

Granted these performances may be sold out by now, but if you get a chance to go, they are being performed at the Hall of Science as a residency these nights, February 6, 9, 12, 15 & 18, 2012; 8:30 pm as well as some regular shows at Roseland on Feb. 22, 25, 28 and March 3rd . This is a must see experience for Björk fans.

Photo credit: Julieta Cervantes

Set list:





Dark matter

Hidden place

Mouths cradle


Sonnets / unrealities

Palm stroke

Pagan poetry

Mutual core




One day


Declare Independence


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