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Indie Bon Iver champions focus on the essentials in Vienna

Indie Bon Iver champions focus on the essentials in Vienna

everything is ready? Is the light aligned correctly, are the machines hooked up, or is the audience facing forward? Then it could begin: US favorite Bon Iver’s Wednesday night performance at the Vienna Arena turned into hero worship. However, only one caught over time. Chief Creative Officer Justin Vernon and his band opted for simple performance that focused on the essentials – and thus wasn’t always able to turn people away.

The sold out outdoor party looked like a triumph by advertisement. It’s been over ten years since their last guest performance and during this time Bon Iver has risen to become an acclaimed lineup between commercial success (two Grammys!) and artistic standards. For Vernon himself, this meant not only an intense examination of fame and its deeply disturbing appearances, which can be heard on his two most recent records “22, Million” (2016) and “Me, Me” (2019), but also collaborations with big names like Kanye West. or Taylor Swift. This man has arrived.

Half of the capital’s indie scene didn’t want to miss his visit. Those who let their gaze wander around the arena area encountered many faces familiar to the musicians – the feeling of a class reunion was not far away. In the end, many can agree on Bon Iver: Since the debut “For Emma, ​​Forever Ago” 16 years ago, the sound has changed from an ethereal solo folk to an electronically backed pop motif. This became particularly evident at the beginning of the concert, when the first half hour with its complex vocal miniatures was difficult but also a little tedious.

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Only the careful beginning of “iMi” finally allowed all the dams to break, and it rose from a fine vocal mod by Vernon and became a tardigrade that one could dream so wonderfully with closed eyes. The following “horoscopes”, which were used more traditionally and thus closer to the group’s folk roots, left nothing to be desired. Later in the evening was the more intense light show, of course, which, like the stage setting itself, relied on traditional effects. Sometimes the six musicians would stand in cones of red light, then the entire arena would be bathed in glowing gold, revealing thousands of happy faces.

The expectations of many must be met. Experimental outings such as “10d EAT hb RE as T” were celebrated as his career starter “Skinny Love”, while “Perth” was supposed to be in a boisterous mood. However, it seemed more important to those present not to miss a line or musical development, for example in “715 – Tables”. Quiet as a mouse during those two and a half minutes, Vernon automatically tuned his voice to lonely light heights and no longer needed it for collective bliss.

The perceived tension on both sides did not subside until later. With Vernon, this was expressed in a sympathetic “You miss it!” When he first introduced his comrades-in-arms before the song “Sh’Diah”, but quickly spoiled the beginning of the song. Never mind, after a bit of chatting I just started over and the normal combo was finally improved with ‘Naeem’ before turning into a short, crisp appearance. Breathing deeply, hands in the air, and chanting – inner harmony can be so easy, a must for visitors to think about in the arena. Maybe next time you can do it right from the start.

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(Service – https://boniver.org)