Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bon Iver, Bon Iver: live, live

22 APRIL, 2012

Fresh from his dual weekend turn at Coachella, Justin Vernon brought his Bon Iver road show to the Santa Barbara Bowl for a surprisingly intimate Sunday night show.  He didn't hesitate to exploit the full dynamic range of the Bowl, taking full advantage of his beefed up touring unit to press the outer limits of the local noise restrictions, or performing simply with guitar to a rapt and hushed audience.  The songs from last year's "Bon Iver, Bon Iver", on Jagjaguwar, were ably fleshed out live, growing beyond the LP versions.

The elephant in the room, of course, is For Ever, For Emma, and he artfully seeded the set with songs from that LP from the middle of the set on, not allowing it to overshadow the newer material. The rearrangement of "Creature Fear", (below), shows off just how far he's come, evolving from it's home recorded origins into a jazzy strut that explodes into a noisy conclusion.

The highlight of the evening was a stark reading of "Re: Stacks".  His acoustic version was a brave choice, given the size of the audience, and the highest compliment one can give is the lack of the usual talkers that destroy quieter songs.  He silenced them all.

Keep your eyes out for an upcoming Austin City Limits that the band is taping at this very moment!

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