Posted in music on September 22, 2012

by Andrew Sacher

Bon Iver at Radio City - 9/21/12 (via BrooklynVegan Instagram)
Bon Iver

"Cool!" exclaimed Justin Vernon, as 6,000 or so people tremendously applauded for the third (9/21) of four Bon Iver shows at Radio City, in the same awkwardly humble manner he said, "sweet hookup," when he won Best New Artist at the 2011 Grammys. As massive as Bon Iver continues to get, Justin's sense of modesty never seems to fade. He even still prefaces "The Wolves" with asking the crowd to join in on "what might've been lost" (I think by now it's safe to assume they would regardless). I guess it's what they say: you can take the boy out of the abandoned cabin the woods, but you can't take the abandoned cabin the woods out of the boy. (They say that, right?)

From the opening notes of "Perth," the band's atmospheres took over Radio City, and in typical Bon Iver fashion, their command over the audience didn't let up once throughout the show. Their pre-encore set included all of 2011's excellent Bon Iver, Bon Iver, with the only For Emma, Forever Ago song being "Creature Fear" (whose reworked live version fits best with the newer material), and the rest of that album's inclusions were saved for the encore. My personal highlight of the show was "Woods," the only song of the set I've never personally seen them perform before (and not a song they play often). Justin performed the song solo with just a mic and vocal manipulations. And like James Blake, who is perhaps most directly influenced by "Woods" than any other Bon Iver song, Justin did a pretty great job of keeping the room dead silent on those pauses, save for a few "woohoos!" here and there.

In this fast moving internet world, excitement for bands tends to rise and fall pretty quickly, and if it's been a while since they've released anything, tour announcements will inspire comments like "people still listen to this band?" We need constant reminders that a band is good, create absurd expectations for most of them, and will jump at any opportunity to decide an artist we love isn't good anymore. When Bon Iver decide to stroll through NYC for four Radio City shows over a year after their initial Bon Iver, Bon Iver tour brought them here, they continue to show that they don't fit this formula. The excitement felt throughout their entire show parallels that of the one felt upon first discovering their music.

Bon Iver's final night of the Radio City run is tonight (9/22) with Polica opening. (Folk singer Doug Paisley opened last night.) Tickets for tonight's show are still available. If you missed last night's show, did you stream it online? If you missed that stream, it will rebroadcast for 48 hours, starting this Monday (9/24) at the Bowery Presents Youtube channel. In the meantime, some fan-filmed videos and the setlist from last night's show are below...


Bon Iver - "Skinny Love" at Radio City - 9/21/12

Bon Iver - "Creature Fear" at Radio City - 9/21/12

Bon Iver - "The Wolves (Act I and II)" at Radio City - 9/21/12

Bon Iver - "Holocene" at Radio City - 9/21/12

Bon Iver - "Woods" at Radio City - 9/21/12

Bon Iver at Radio City - 9/21/12 Setlist:
Minnesota, WI
Creature Fear
Hinnom, TX
Brackett, WI
Blood Bank
Lisbon, OH

Skinny Love
The Wolves (Act I and II)
For Emma



Comments (12)

6000 or so? Cmon bv don't be' such an obvious whore for Bowery Presents. Not one of these show had even close to that.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2012 4:37 PM

If there was ever a band that just should not talk while on stage it's these guys. Every time that Justin dude opens his mouth he just sounds like a meathead. Borderline fart joke bad.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2012 4:56 PM

he's one of the most insincere people ever. just like everyone else, he's full of shit. way to play up the bs brooklynvegan.

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2012 5:46 PM

zzzzzzz fest..can't believe how many people go ape shit over this crap,its so unoriginal..i had a chance to see him at coachella this year and i totally passed on this lame bro

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2012 6:03 PM

as per 4:37's comments- i agree 100%- while this board is a tremendous source of info and probably the "go-to" place for daily music listings (t.o.n.y.'s website in a disaster).... i feel there has been a change behind the scenes lately. many posts seem to be shills for different bands, venues, promoters, etc.

i guess everyone has bills to pay and "you gotta serve somebody"

Posted by Anonymous | September 22, 2012 6:55 PM

ZZZZZZ rock.

Posted by Anonymous | September 23, 2012 10:21 AM

Bon Hummus

Posted by Anonymous | September 23, 2012 2:15 PM

Probably the only person commenting that actually went to the show. It was fantastic from start to finish. Justin sounded humbled and sincere. To each his own.

Posted by CJ | September 23, 2012 2:37 PM

I was at the Wednesday show. Amazing live performance. Was a great time.

Posted by Anonymous | September 24, 2012 11:19 AM

To each his own. I passed. Bros singing in falsetto not my thing.

Posted by Anonymous | September 24, 2012 1:34 PM

6000 people yes as it was streamed live around the world.

Posted by Anonymous | September 24, 2012 1:48 PM

they are amazing live enough said.

Posted by mike | July 17, 2013 3:27 PM

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