I Was There: Bon Iver Live In Indianapolis

Last night’s concert in Indianapolis was awesome!  The new album was well done live and it made me appreciate Bon Iver more – those songs were meant to be heard at a very high volume.  The songs from For Emma, Forever Ago were redone to sound more like the last album, and those songs actually sounded better.  The only exception was “Re: Stacks”, where Justin Vernon came out with just an electric guitar and performed the song solo just like the album.  The room was totally silent – you could hear a pin drop (and I think I did a couple of times).  It was powerful and it was one of the show’s many highlights.  Other highlights included a beefed-up rendition of “Blood Bank”, a Bjork cover with awesome beat-boxing, and the final song “The Wolves: Act I and II” where Vernon had the whole crowd sing the line, “What might have been lost” increasingly louder as the band crescendoed into total chaos.  It was truly a night to remember.

Here’s the setlist


Minnesota, WI





Blood Bank

Hinnom, TX


Beach Baby


Re: Stacks

Creature Fear


For Emma


Skinny Love

Who is it

     -Bjork cover

The Wolves: Act I & II

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Extra! Extra!: Hear Bon Iver’s new single!

What a coincidence that on the day I bought my ticket to see Bon Iver July 25th in Indianapolis his new single “Calgary” comes out?  Anyway the song is great and I can’t wait to hear this live!  You can go to his website here to download the song for free.

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Playlist: Introspective modern folk songs

For full effect, listen by yourself at night time when you’re in a reflective mood.

“Older Chests” – Damien Rice

“World Spins Madly On” – The Weepies

“Quiet” – John Mayer

“Waiting On an Angel” – Ben Harper

“Skinny Love” – Bon Iver

“Lua” – Bright Eyes

“I Will Follow You Into the Dark” – Death Cab For Cutie

“All At Once” – Jack Johnson

“I Was Just Thinking” – Teitur

“Stop This Train” – John Mayer

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Classics In The Making: Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

Soundtrack to the cold grey winter.

Wintertime in Indiana – or anywhere in the midwest – just plain sucks.  The snow is nice during Christmas and it’s nice to have snow to bring in the new year, but soon the snow turns from white to grey and we all start to notice how bitter the cold is.  It is days like this where you don’t want to be outside, but rather hiding in your house, with no sun to make the day – or your attitude – any brighter.  There is a particular album that I listen to when the day is like this, when all I want to do is escape from the cold and get lost in my music, and that album is For Emma, Forever Ago by Justin Vernon aka Bon Iver.

This album appeals to the isolationist in all of us, for it was written by one.  After breakups with his band and girlfriend, Vernon retrieved to his father’s cabin in Wisconsin during the winter months to clear his head, and what came out was this collection of beautiful songs.  The songs are lush but minimal, with only acoustic guitars and bits of soft drums to accompany Vernon’s layered falsetto voice (it’s hard to figure out what he’s saying most of the time, but it sure does sound pretty).  Tracks like “Skinny Love”, “Blindsided”, and “Re: Stacks” are the standouts, all of which can be taken away from the album and still hold its gentle disposition.

The most incredible thing about this album is how clear we can see ourselves in the Wisconsin hills, surrounded by nothing but the snow and our thoughts.  This album takes you to where Vernon was, that dark place we all go to from time to time.  So enjoy the music, and enjoy your time alone with yourself.

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