Bon Iver returns to CU with no gimmicks, just greatness

If you missed the last show, which was laden with anecdotes, robust sing-a-longs and plain ol’ great live music, don’t dilly-dally about your next chance to see Bon Iver at the Highdive on Saturday. With the group’s transparently honest and humble performance, Bon Iver’s live set relies on no artificial colorings or flavorings. Just stand (or sit) and listen to the incredibly human and organic sounds that singer-songwriter Justin Vernon has brought to us from his winter spent in the woods.
I had the pleasure of seeing Bon Iver live with a couple friends at Canopy on April 10. After hearing the ambient and serene “Skinny Love” on WPGU humming on the Espresso Royale speakers amongst the craziness of the ten o’clock rush, a couple co-workers and I decided that we would take a gander at what we thought was pronounced “Bon Eye-ver.”
Upon arrival, the theater at the Canopy had a fair amount of concert goers, all there to feast their eyes and ears on Justin Vernon’s music off the record and on the stage. The music was, no doubt, spectacular. It was haunting and rich. It left melodies in your ears so deep that they (your ears) would be that much more attentive to hear the next song. Bon Iver played all the songs from their album For Emma, Forever Ago. The performance was enthusiastically received, and Justin and band performed “Skinny Love” with deft precision, complete with a refreshing live effect through improvisation and the additions of melodies and beats.
Vocal praises from some especially lively audience members also followed each song. The band even requested audience support for vocals for the powerful crescendo in “The Wolves Act I and II.” The song built up to a catharsis of sorts, and the audience seemed to experience the wavering emotions as they moved with the music.
It’s a real treat to have Bon Iver back in CU for a night, so make sure to go out and experience the kind of music that’s too big to breathe on record, and too breathtaking live to be forgettable. In the spirit of music, Bon Iver’s live performance promises to be organic: no gimmicks, just greatness.

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