photos by Paul Birman
"Thanks to everyone who came to the BV Haiti benefit last night. You made it really special." - St. Vincent
"St. Vincent and Justin Vernon performing together was easily one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen/heard." - Steph Lo
Wyatt Cenac was funny. Then came Britt Daniel (of Spoon) with White Rabbits frontman Stephen Patterson. They had such a good time on stage together, you can tell they were buds. Janeane Garofalo came next - she has the smartest humor and is a strong rooted New Yorker. Made a ton of jokes about the L train and hipsters which the crowd took very warmly to. Gosh she's tiny. St Vincent went on and sounded like the lovely thing she is. Someone yelled while she was setting up 'show us your bush'????', In which she replied, 'that is the strangest thing someone has ever said to me...on or off stage'. Adorable. Following her was Zach Galifianakis who everyone was undeniably waiting for. It really looked like he just rolled out of bed, picked up some papers from a table and walked on stage totally winging his whole act...hilarious. Alas came Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver). His voice sounded just as amazing it does on record. The room was at its most quiet during "Flume". Unreal. He was the last act but did say something about a special guest - I heard it was Megafaun/My Brightest Diamond (had to leave early), which I imagine rounded out the benefit nicely. Really awesome that these guys all came together"...Thanks for that partial recap S&S. You should have gotten there earlier and stayed later though!
[Stadiums & Shrines]
The night opened with a great debut set by singer-songwriter John Shade (previously Dave Godowsky) who brought out Justin Vernon on drums for two songs. Before and after John, and between every set of the night, came comedy by our two able hosts: Bobby Tisdale and Leo Allen. St Vincent's set included a National and a Nico cover. Justin covered John Prine. Britt Daniel did three songs, which was one less than he played at Sound Fix a few hours earlier.
And yep, the special guest after/during Justin's set was in fact Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) who (after headlining Bowery Ballroom one night earlier) played two jaw dropping numbers - one with Colin Stetson on his most-insane giant saxophone, and a cover of Prince's "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore".
But it didn't end there. A supergroup called Songer Singwriter featuring Annie, Justin, drummer, and Brad from Megafaun came back to close the night off right with a set of four more covers. Neil Young's "Harvest Moon", Tom Petty's "Face in the Crowd" (with Brad on lead), Dolly Parton's "Jolene", and Annie Lennox's "Why". Each of those final covers was better than the next. To quote one of my tweets, "To quote my friend, 'Sounds like sonic youth playing a dolly parton song. Sick!' and now Annie Lennox Why! Full room Bon Iver singalong".
We ran almost non-stop for 3.5 hours straight (8-11:30), and raised over $20,000. I'm still waiting for an exact number. More pictures (one of two sets we have) and some videos from the show, below....
"Mind is blown after Brit Daniels, St. Vincent, Justin Vernon & co. Shara Worden was a total surprise and covered a Prince song!" - jennylow
Bobby Tisdale tap dance routine
Brad from Megafaun
My Brightest Diamond
Thanks to everyone at Music Hall, Bowery Presents, Josh, Katie, Klaus, Nate, Bart, Julia & everyone else who helped put this together so quickly. Thanks to everyone who performed and to everyone who attended. We'll be sorting out the money details today, hopefully getting it the proper people in Haiti ASAP.
"Justin Vernon and st. Vincent covering Neil youngs harvest moon. Doesn't get any better. Best show ever. Incredible." - clickfortucker
John Shade - I Hate The World and Everyone in It
Britt Daniel - Who Makes Your Money (solo)
Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) - Flume
Justin Vernon - A Satisfied Mind
St Vincent The Party (St Vincent) w/ Justin Vernon
St. Vincent and Justin Vernon - Harvest Moon (Music Hall of Williamsburg, 1.23.10)
'Jolene' by St.Vincent + Justin Vernon