September 19th and 20th indie folk band Bon Iver will play the Shrine Auditorium and Gibson Amphitheater, respectively.
As Bon Iver releases their second album, I think back to their original studio foray For Emma, Forever Ago and recall with a certain sad nostalgia that it’s quite possibly the most beautiful portrayal of loneliness ever set to a record needle. The album was mainly recorded while lead singer/songwriter Justin Vernon spent three months in an isolated cabin in northern Wisconsin, enveloping the cold and searching through an ice-trapped soul.
Bon Iver’s sound is solidly rooted in passionate harmonies hardly heard without the heart leading the way. Originally, they would pass out lyrics and evoke the audience to join and supply “that fight” that the tracks needed in a live setting. See the sing-along video below, taken from the floor of an apartment in Paris at the end of their first tour to see what fight they’re talking about. (Though I doubt that audience needed the lyrics on paper)
After tremendous success, a world tour, and numerous accolades donning their first album one of the best of the last decade, Bon Iver is back! And this decade seems to find Vernon’s winter thawing itself out a bit. Their second studio effort has brought the band to new territories, instruments and collaborators.
Vernon and his brother bought an old veterinarian clinic in Wisconsin that’s “three miles from the house I grew up in, and just ten minutes from the bar where my parents met.” Together they built their new studio, from which Bon Iver has found a new year’s winter to celebrate. “I brought in a lot of people to change my voice — not my singing voice, but my role as the author of this band” says Vernon. Bon Iver’s self-titled second studio effort brings a renewed assurance that springtime may very well be just around the corner…and beyond the frozen lake.
not yet awake, I’m raised of make
still alive who you love
-Perth, 1st track of Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Gibson Amphitheater at Universal City Walk
Tues Sept 20 2011 8:15pm