List of Björk concert tours

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Björk performing at Big Day Out in Victoria, Australia in 2008, as part of the Volta Tour

Icelandic music composer and singer Björk has embarked on seven concert tours, with all of them being worldwide. After her split up with The Sugarcubes, Björk embarked in her first concert tour to promote Debut. The Tour lasted two years, from 1993 to 1994, and included a concert to support the U2 on their Zoo TV Tour at the Wembley Stadium. The following year, she performed on the worldwide Post Tour which was extensively long and critically lauded. The tour visited different festivals and arenas throughout Europe, North America, Oceania and Asia and featured the first performance in South America. In November 1997, with the release of Homogenic she embarked on the Homogenic Tour after promoting the album with a short promotional tour earlier during the same year. The Tour was extended in 1998 after a cancelled North America tour with the Radiohead. After the end of the tour in 1999, Björk embarked on the Vespertine World Tour which featured performances with a full Orchestra in Opera houses. The tour was critically lauded and financially expensive. In 2003 she toured throughout Europe and North America (including one stop in Asia) for her Greatest Hits Tour, performing in Stadiums and headlining major European Festivals.

Björk did not tour again until the Volta Tour in 2007, which lasted two years and during which she returned to perform in Oceania and South America after more than 10 years. She once again was the headliner of major festivals, including Coachella Festival, Glastonbury Festival, Big Day Out and Roskilde Festival. The tour faced many controversies because of live performances of "Declare Independence" in which she declared political support for various causes, including Kosovo and Tibet, for which she was banned from visiting China. Björk toured her project Biophilia, which featured a series of residencies and workshops for children regarding science and musicology, from 2011 until 2013. Many instruments were created and brought on stage specifically for the shows: a tesla coil, a bespoke pipe organ that accepts digital information, a pin-barrel harp, a midi-controlled gamelan-celesta hybrid, and a pendulum that harnesses the earth’s gravitational pull to create musical patterns. The tour featured her first performance ever in Africa, but was hindered by a series of vocal chords issues.

During her career, Björk has also performed at various charity concerts, including Live 8 in 2005, and has performed at the 2004 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.

Tours[edit]

Year Title Duration Number of
performances
1993-1994 Debut Tour August 19, 1993 – July 31, 1994
39
This tour mainly focused on her album Debut. She toured from 1993 to 1994. The tour was released on VHS and DVD as Vessel. A separate release, Debut Live, contains material from the 1993 MTV Unplugged performance, which features a much larger set of backing musicians.
1995-1997 Post Tour July 6, 1995 – February 27, 1997
103
This tour mainly focused on her album Post. She also performed some songs from her first album Debut. She performed a total of 22 songs on the tour. The tour was released on DVD and VHS as Live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Some tracks from that release also appear on Post Live.
1997-1999 Homogenic Tour November 2, 1997 – January 6, 1999
50
This tour focused on her third album, Homogenic. She also added songs from her previous albums. 23 different songs were performed. The tour band consisted of an Icelandic string octet and musician Mark Bell on beats, who had co-produced the album with Björk. The tour was released on DVD as Live in Cambridge. A separate release, Homogenic Live, contains a selection of Björk's favourite performances from throughout the Homogenic tour.
2001 Vespertine World Tour August 18, 2001 – December 21, 2001
34
This tour focused on her fourth album, Vespertine. She also performed songs from Debut, Post, Homogenic and Selmasongs. She performed 35 shows on this tour and 31 different songs. The tour band consisted of harpist Zeena Parkins, electronic duo Matmos, a Greenlandic choir and a 70-piece orchestra (local to each venue). The tour was released on DVD as Live at Royal Opera House and the concert held at the Orchard Hall in Tokyo, Japan was broadcast on Japanese TV-station WOWOW. A separate release, Vespertine Live, contains a selection of Björk's favourite performances from throughout the Vespertine tour, while a tour documentary, Minuscule, was also released.
2003 Greatest Hits Tour May 24, 2003 – September 3, 2003
28
With the release of her Greatest Hits, Björk did another world tour. The songs performed were mainly from Vespertine and Homogenic. She performed 28 shows on that tour and sang 32 different songs. The tour band consisted of an Iceland string octet, electronic duo Matmos (who had previously been part of the touring band for Vespertine) and musician Leila Arab (who had previously been part of the touring band for Post). There was a notable lack of focus on material from Debut and Post. This is the only one of Björk's tours not to have had a corresponding DVD or CD release, although a live track of "All is Full of Love" from this tour can be found on the soundtrack to the Icelandic film Screaming Masterpiece, whilst the film itself contains partial live performances of both "All is Full of Love" and "Pluto".
2007-2008 Volta Tour April 9, 2007 – August 15, 2008
74
Overall, 48 songs were done on the tour focusing on many tracks from Debut through to Vespertine, though mostly from Medúlla and Volta, the former of which did not receive its own tour. The tour band consisted of drummer Chris Corsano, musician Mark Bell (who also accompanied Björk on the Homogenic tour), pianist Jónas Sen (who played celeste on the tracks Gratitude and Cetacea on the Drawing Restraint 9 soundtrack), musician Damian Taylor and a 10 piece female Icelandic brass section. Many of the songs evolved considerably during the tour, including "Innocence" which was re-done so as to incorporate brass elements. Live performances of the track "Declare Independence" made heavy use of the ReacTable, an electro-acoustic music instrument with a tabletop Tangible User Interface, which is played by Damian Taylor. The Tenori-on was used heavily in performances of "Who Is It". A live DVD and CD of the Volta tour was released as part of Voltaïc. The tour was Björk's first in four years and saw her play countries that she had not played in over ten years.
2011-2013 Biophilia Tour June 27, 2011 – September 7, 2013
70
Many instruments were created and brought on stage specifically for the shows: a tesla coil, a bespoke pipe organ that accepts digital information, a pin-barrel harp, a midi-controlled gamelan-celesta hybrid, and a pendulum that harnesses the earth’s gravitational pull to create musical patterns. Musicians included Max Weisel (app developer, only for the 2012),[1] Matt Robertson (electronics, midi instruments and musical director, substituted by Weisel in 2012), Manu Delago (hang drum and percussion), the Icelandic Female Choir Graduale Nobili and Jón Stefánsson (choir conductor). Jónas Sen (harpsichord, pipe organ and gameleste) also participated in the concerts during the Reykjavík and Paris residencies. Zeena Parkins (harp) joined the tour for the North American residencies. Animations by Stephen Malinowski were shown during the performances.[2]

Other concerts[edit]

Date City Country Venue Notes
August 4, 1996 Verbier Switzerland Verbier Festival Björk performed the first part of Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg.
June 8, 1997 New York City United States Tibetan Freedom Concert This concert preceded the Homogenic Promotional Tour and featured the first performance of "All Neon Like", "Jóga", "Hunter" and "Pluto".
April 16, 1998 San Francisco Wiltern Theatre AT&T Corporation's concert for the benefit of the Walden Woods Project and the Thoreau Institute. Björk sang covers with Joni Mitchell, Natalie Cole and Sheryl Crow.
December 4, 1998 Bristol England St George's, Brandon Hill Secret gig with the Brodsky Quartet.
December 9, 1999 London Union Chapel Acoustic concerts with the Brosdky Quartet, recorded but never released.
December 11, 1999
December 31, 1999 Reykjavík Iceland Perlan Björk performed two songs with the Voices of Europe Choir at an exclusive New Year's Eve party
May 22, 2001 New York City United States Riverside Church Secret shows before the start of the Vespertine tour. Two 45-minutes shows were performed during the same night.
April 27, 2002 Indio Coachella Festival Björk was visibly pregnant while performing.
August 13, 2004 Athens Greece Olympic Stadium Björk performed "Oceania" at the 2004 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.
July 2, 2005 Tokyo Japan Live 8 N/A
November 6, 2005 New York City United States Carnegie Hall Tribute concert dedicated to Meredith Monk. Björk performed "Gotham Lullaby" with Zeena Parkins.
January 7, 2006 Reykjavík Iceland Hætta Festival Björk performed three songs with Zeena Parkins.
April 1, 2007 Styrktartónleikar Forma A Benefit concert against Eating disorders. "Warm-up" concert before the Volta tour.
August 10, 2008 Zaragoza Spain Expo 2008 Björk was featured in Toumani Diabaté concert and they performed two songs, including a new song called "Softly".
August 26, 2008 Reykjavík Iceland Langholtskirkja Acoustic showcase later released on Voltaïc.
December 23, 2008 Nordic House Part of the Christmas Calendar project where different artists performed during the days leading up to Christmas Eve. Björk performed four traditional Icelandic Christmas songs.
May 8, 2009 New York City United States Housing Works Bookstore Café Concert with the Dirty Projectors.
July 19, 2010 Reykjavík Iceland Nordic House Small acoustic set which followed a press conference about the exploitation of Iceland's energy.
March 18, 2014 Stopp! - Gætum Garðsins A benefit concert in support for conservation of Icelandic nature organised by Darren Aronofsky, Björk, Iceland Nature Conservation Association and Landvernd, Icelandic Environment Association. Patti Smith, Lykke Li, Of Monsters and Men, Samaris, Retro Stefson, Mammút and Highlands also performed.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Björk's Biophilia Live Show". Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Biophilia shows Manchester booklet". Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "stopp! breaking news! björk and others need your help to save iceland's wilderness!". bjork.com. Retrieved 17 March 2014.