Tonight though he switches it around and plays the whole of his second full release, the eponymous ‘Bon Iver’. It’s not played straight by any means with many tracks reworked to a degree but the OTT auto tune only made an appearance on set one closer ‘Beth/Rest’
It was an exhilarating set. Vernon backed by five piece horn section, drummer, percussionist and a couple of multi instrumentalists produced a crisp sharp clear sound usually missing in a larger venue. The stage was dressed in flowing feathers from the overhead rig and fake candles to provide an eerie haunted house type feel. Enhanced by dramatic staccato light show it was one of the most striking audio visual sets I have seen reminiscent of Sufjan Steven last tour with his cathedral like backdrop.
After a 22 minute interval, do you see what he did there, it’s onto the second set which aside from ‘Blood Bank’ it’s the majority of the new album. Personally I thought the set lost its way a bit here. I think ’22, A million’, has some good songs trying to get but they are often obscured by the electronic trickery and whilst live both audibly and visually it certainly brought these tracks more to life it still felt a little disjointed.
After another brief interlude Vernon comes back on stage to deliver a masterful, no frills, no tricks version of the Leon Russell ‘A Song for You’ (a good spot by Mr Berry on the night) and then finally ending the night with his hit ‘Skinny Love’.
So a game very much of two halves with the band going two nil up, really nailing it for the first forty minutes especially the horn section adding that special sauce to the dish accentuating and enhancing Vernon’s voice. A patchy second half with the odd own goal but finishing with an injury time winner of an encore.
Till the next time keep on rockin’ y’all