Even though the concert’s opening act, Poliça, made most people get up and look for the bathroom or buy popcorn instead of listening to its drum-heavy mix of pop, electro and alternative, Bon Iver managed to lure the audience back to its seats when he entered the stage.
Supported by a simple but impressive fog-strewn, candles-in-a-church-meets-Instagram stage set up, frontman Justin Vernon managed to captivate the audience with his paradoxically soothing, rock voice and humble demeanor.
“Thank you so much for being here,” he said after every other song.
The set list included songs from both of Bon Iver’s albums, “For Emma, Forever Ago” and “Bon Iver.” One highlight was the band’s performance of “Skinny Love,” the song the audience seemed to have been waiting for. Chiming in with Vernon and the rest of the band, the audience took charge of singing the familiar lyrics “My, my, my.”
One of the night’s two surprises was a new song called “Castles,” and the show marked only the second time it has been played for a live performance.
“Next up is a new song we premiered last night,” Vernon said. “It will be on the next album, out in a couple years.”
The organ-heavy composition was reminiscent of Coldplay’s albums “Viva La Vida” and “Mylo Xyloto,” starting out with an intro similar to “Paradise” until it fades to something reminiscent of “Death and All His Friends.” However, the song still has a very typical Bon Iver vibe.
The other surprise was a cover of Björk’s song “Who Is It.” Although released on Bjork’s iTunes Sessions EP, the song took the crowd by surprise as its arrangement included very prominent beatboxing by the band’s percussionist.
Bon Iver delivered an exquisite show that truly entertained the audience. Even though the opening act made many people doubt if their money was wisely spent, the concert spread harmony and bliss over the crowd.
“See you in a couple years.” Vernon said after the show.
Tobias Keunecke is a contributing writer. Email him at email@example.com.
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