Last Night: Jonsi At Verizon Wireless Theater
This is not an article about Jonsi. There are no articles about Jonsi, because there are no words for Jonsi. He is pre-linguistic. Go try and write an article about what it feels like to smell colors, why don't you?
Describe hearing flowers. Come back when you can taste laughing. In the exaggeratingly long book of how to listen to music, Jonsi is that small print at the bottom of the page that even a microscope can't see. We were not properly prepared for this. How do you comprehend a seventh sense? You don't even try, that's how.
Aftermath went in to Verizon Wednesday night anticipating something beautiful, and left with something transcendent. We walked in with excitement, walked out with inspiration. If we once thought we understood the otherworldly type of happiness live music sometimes brings, we now have no idea what language is.
Jonsi is a bomb thrown into your consciousness; he explodes in daydreams, drawn in crayon. It's the kind of show that Houston doesn't get to experience often - the leprechaun riding a unicorn type thing that comes around less than once in a lifetime. And the crowd - relatively small, at least for a show this big - seemed to know this, not letting even one half-second come and go without a smile.
The songs Jonsi sings are almost secondary to the feeling those songs bring to their listeners. Songs about fear that make you feel brave, songs about loss that make you feel found, songs about bicycles that make you want to be a cloud, just so you can keep the rain away, songs about death that make you feel more alive than you ever thought possible.
Jonsi isn't what we think he is, because Jonsi isn't anything. He's everything. To everybody. All of the time.
Jonsi is an artist who exists in a perpetual pageant of the orchestrally sublime. He equips himself with everything it takes to make each member of his audience feel as if they are the only one in a room made of magic; but at the same time we all felt as if the person next to us was the best friend we've ever had.
That's just what Jonsi does: He bridges the gap between the foreign and the familiar, making the fact that some of his songs are sung in a language that doesn't even exist (Hopelandic), seem normal. And as enthralled as the audience was by the abundance of visual stimulation in the simple yet mystifying stage show, what brought us to Verizon were the songs. And that audible Vicodin of a voice. And one preposterously handsome eyeball.