Feb 21 2008

Show Review: Bon Iver (Rock and Roll Hotel, DC- 2/19)

Published by at 9:22 pm under MP3's,Show Review

Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to see Justin Vernon, a.k.a Bon Iver, open for Black Mountain at the Rock and Roll Hotel. In the middle of Vernon’s forty-five minute set, he played “The Wolves: Act I and II,” and asked the crowd to help out by chanting “What might have been lost.” As corny as this may sound, hearing this live made me realize that a lot would have been lost if I had missed this show.

Those in attendance seemed engaged and every so often when I looked back, I saw mesmerized faces that looked similar to my own when I first heard Bon Iver’s music. I could tell there were a lot of people who were hearing Vernon’s music for the first time, which is not surprising given his debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago released the same day as the show. Speaking with others, I know I wasn’t the only one there who came mostly to see Bon Iver.

The show was exactly what I imagined it would be, except that I was under the assumption that Bon Iver would be playing solo. He has songs with percussions, so I knew there might be someone helping out at times, but I pictured him playing acoustically by himself. Instead, he was supported by his friends Michael and Sean on the baritone guitar and drums, and they all sounded great. “Blindsided” was definitely the highlight of the show, with Vernon jamming it up. He was all over the place, messing with different knobs, and doin’ the ole rock n’ roll bender downer (below pic). Sure enough he managed to knock the mic stand down. If you have a chance to see Bon Iver live, do it. I unfortunately wasn’t able to stay for Black Mountain, but heard they put on a good show. If anyone else saw them, please share your thoughts.

the ole rock n’ roll bender downer

I wish I had known this several days ago when I was writing my last Bon Iver post , but it was actually being streamed live by NPR: All Things Considered. Listen to it HERE (and yes, that is indeed Wilco that Rock and Roll put on while waiting for Vernon to come out:) HERE are some pics I took while there. I’ll have to learn how to use my digital camera properly so I can increase the brightness without using the flash. Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to afford a professional camera.

Set List-Rock and Roll Hotel: 2/19:

1) flume 2) lump sum 3) skinny love 4) the wolves (acts I and II) 5) blindsided 6) creature fear 7) for emma.

I highly recommend you purchase For Emma, Forever Ago. And consider purchasing it on Vinyl from jagjaguar. It’s only a dollar more that the cd ($12.00), and comes with a download link to get the mp3’s. Really beautiful LP. I got mine at the venue for $20, not sure why there was such a big price jump, but for me it was still worth it.

Bon Iver – Skinny Love

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