On Thursday March 21st, Ulver, a Norwegian experimental band, took over Irving Plaza. Originally falling under the genre of black metal but branching out into a variety of genres with each release, Ulver got the audience excited with their unique and entrancing sounds lead by vocalist Kristoffer Rygg. This avant-garde band was nothing shy of exhilarating.
On stage, there was a large mixing station in the back, two large conga drums with maracas and tambourines around them, a drum kit on stage right, two keyboards in the back and an electric guitar that was played both traditionally and also with a bow. Each performer played with their sense of style and their own spin making the sounds all but ordinary. The conga drum player even used mallets at times instead of hitting the drum for the typical sound.
Ulver had a simplistic stage presence that made it enjoyable to watch. There were eight different light beams placed symmetrically throughout the stage. They lit up in accordance to certain beats of songs, which was just simple enough and gave the effect of still being modern. They were laser like and they sat right on the stage. It gave the stage the little extra “something” without being too much. There were of course the projected visuals behind the band, as well as lights that would hit the members of Ulver at different times. Again, simple but very effective.
Opening with “Nemoralia” from the 2017 album The Assassination of Julius Caesar, the fans knew they were in for a great evening. The audience cheered with excitement and erupted with applause. Lead singer Kristoffer Rygg entered the stage with waves to the crowd and began the song with ease. The majority of the tracks performed came from 2017 studio album, The Assassination of Julius Caesar. Some of the songs that the audience responded best to were “Southern Gothic,” “Rolling Stone” and “Transverberation.”
Ulver had the dramatic and heavy bass that fans could easily nod their heads to at any point. The fans were excited and energetic with their hands in the air for the band, since it was the first time Ulver had performed in America. Even if it’s not exactly your brand of music, it still had a beat that was hard not find catchy. There was a loop pedal that made it easier for the band to create even more beats and loop their tracks to make them go on even longer. The drums were heavily featured, in turn added to the heavy feel of the music.
With the fans knowing every word to every song, and cheering for an encore, it was clear the band knew how to deliver what the fans had wanted to hear. The Norwegian band has over ten studio recorded albums, as well as several EPs, two live albums, covers and collaborations. Fans were left feeling the excitement from the experimental sounds of a band that knew how to entertain.
- “Southern Gothic”
- “So Falls the World”
- Rolling Stone
- Echo Chamber (Room of Tears)
- “Angelus Novus”
- “Bring Out Your Dead”
- “Coming Home”
- “The Power of Love” (Encore)