Sigur Rós, the popular Icelandic band and the gourmet cannabis edible and topical lotion company Lord Jones teamed up to create a product not often seen on band merch tables: cannabis infused gummies.
The “Wild Sigurberry” treat is a medley of wild Icelandic berries: blackberries, strawberries and blueberries and coated with sugar. The limited-edition edible comes in both a THC and a CBD variety and both can be purchased for a limited time on Lord Jones’ website. There are six dosage options: five, ten and twenty milligram THC infused, Lord Jones’ signature 5:1 ratio CBD to THC formulation, and two pure CBD options.
To celebrate the release of this unique collaboration, the band and Lord Jones hosted a launch party “soundbath” for fans at Neuehouse in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Guests over 21 were invited to the workspace (and homebase to Lord Jones) to enjoy a free sampling of the edible and free live performance from the band unlike any other.
The chosen few fans who were lucky enough to win their way in via email lottery lined outside of Neuehouse Tuesday night in a curly-queue as the pre-sunset chill breezed in from Sunset Boulevard. Vape pens, t-shirts from Sigur Rós’ 2005 album Takk… and film cameras adorned the fashion-casual crowd.
Once inside, guests were offered complimentary tastes of the new Wild Sigurberry gumdrops in either their 5:1 CBD variety (10 mg CBD/2 mg THC) or their THC (5 mg THC). A young man explained the difference between the two products as each new crop of folks lining up to sample arrived. He explained the CBD version provides relaxation, anxiety relief and mood stabilization, while not having much of a head change. He went on to explain the 5 mg THC content gummy would give you a nice head high.
I opted for the CBD candy and was then led to a room behind several large closed doors. I entered a dark room, lit primarily by faux pillar candles on the ground which were illuminating a walkway. I was escorted to the back of the room and invited to sit on the floor. A heavy fog sat on the floor around us and the room smelled strongly of calming incense.
It was mostly quiet in there, save for the sound of a low and distant ambient grumble and scuffling shoes. The dark and quiet devoid of human voices and lit phone screens was unnerving as it went on for an uncomfortably long time until I began to doubt I was in the right space. The rumbling began to intensify, calling forward images of earthquakes and waking volcanos in my mind.
Then somewhere in between the lengthy loud grumbling sound coming from the speakers, I began to hear small hints of Sigur Rós. Their familiar chimes coming through drop by drop until their familiar ambient music was fully apparent.
A figure holding a tall, thin candle and hanging incense burner appeared from the far corner of the room. He was shirtless, wearing only a thin loincloth and a sheer white robe which through the candlelight made him look as if he had a cloud of smoke or an aura around him as he slowly walked abound the room. He was soon joined by two more men, both with long hair and in loincloths.
The trio slowly wandered around the dark room through the seated crowd, eventually standing still, illuminating their three respective corners.
Suddenly, the first words of the show were spoken as the angelic voice of singer Jonsi emerged through the speakers. As the music played on, the three half-naked yet hooded men made their way to the front of the room as slowly and delicately as the music filling the room around them.
They stopped beneath a giant chandelier on the ceiling. It flickered a spectrum of lights that began at a circular center and emanated its way out in bolts. At its center was a white ball of light, like a nucleus in an active cell. The lights flared out in a variety of colors and speeds, all moving along with the tempo of the music.
About 20 minutes in, the final of the candlemen walked out of the room silently. The lights of the chandelier grew, and now looked like a neuron rapidly synapsing. A hiss, not unlike listening to a fireplace crackle while it rains outside came over the room.
At 30 minutes, my butt became sore and cold from sitting on the hard stone floor for a while. The flickering of the lights waned with the music, until only the center ball of light shone, intermittently like a lighthouse casting its beams out to sea. Thirty-five minutes in, I decided to lie down on my back, the cold ground spooking my legs and arms, and bringing the light show directly into the center of my vision.
It was shortly after laying down that I was able to finally let go and enjoy the show. The analytical mind quieted as I just focused on the pulsating lights and opened my ears to the music. The brain finally had adjusted enough to this unique experience and let it be.
The three men silently returned in from the far side of the room. They went beneath the chandelier. It was then I began to experience feelings of calmness, peace, gentleness, tranquility–all washed over me, like when I sit on the floor during a shower.
It was the exact opposite feeling I had from when I walked in the door–frazzled by a two hour commute and a 40 minute line to get in.
But that was all gone now. It was just me, a room full of strangers, the darkness and the light.
About an hour in, the restless mind kicked in. People began looking at their phones and getting up walking around, their shoes disturbing the sound. I myself began to feel restless, and a quick bolt of anxiety hit as the music crescendoed into a cacophony of the grumbling noise and guitar distortion.
I lied down to balance myself and soon after Jonsi’s falsetto voice joined in again. I was immediately transported back to April 13, 2013 on the polo fields of Indio, where I was watching Sigur Rós at Coachella while lying on chilled desert grass under the light show of stars in the midnight sky. The anxiety melted away.
As I closed my eyes an overwhelming sense of euphoria overtook my body. Huge gusts of chills repetitively rushed through my arms and my extremities began to feel gelatinous. My face felt as though it was swimming in a pool.
The singing stopped and the three men exited and the sounds of the music and the colorful lights fell until we were left with just the hum that started all this and the darkness. The crowd stood slowly, many rising from lying down or sitting cross-legged, and took their time about filtering out.
It was time to get up and exit but I was unsure if I was ready and capable to do so. My legs didn’t feel certainly able to walk to the lobby and I didn’t quite trust my gelatinous feeling hands could be dextrous enough to grab my belongings.
I stood up and did it, though, and walked out into the light for the first time in over an hour. A young couple walking ahead of me in the hall looked at each other. “Wwooowwwww,” the girl breathlessly enthused and the boy knowingly laughed and put his arm around her.
I made it to the lobby and plopped down on one of the couches. The video camera guy who had been filming the experience was nearby and remarked, “I don’t even know who I am anymore.”
Sigur Rós has spent a good chunk of their current tour in Los Angeles including stops at the Fox Theatre in Pomona and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Each one of their stops here was sure to be memorable, unique and transcendent. But it’s safe to say none were quite so strange as a medicated live soundbath.