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Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Bon Iver - The Park Stage (Glastonbury 2009) - LIVE REVIEW

I've never left a musical performance in such stunned silence, and i wasn't the only one. People who see Bon Iver are genuinely affected by him, nearly without exception. There's just something about the intimate delivery of Vernon and the modesty which sees him set up his own pedals beforehand which leaves his crowds with the mutual realisation that they have stumbled upon something quite special.

Bon Iver played two sets at Glastonbury 2009, one on the intimate park stage, tucked away at the back of Glastonbury (which also saw non televised sets from M. Ward, Animal Collective and Tunng & Tinariwen, as well as a special guest slot from The Dead Weather), and also on the other stage to the general public. We were in the third row, standing about 3 - 4 metres from Justin himself. I never predicted before heading down to the front following M.Ward that we would get quite that close.

He played a pitch perfect set, on 6 self-tuned guitars (might i add the sound check was one of the longest i had to sit through the entire weekend, weighing in at 55 minutes) with the album sound recreated perfectly, other bands members chipping in on backing vocals. Hearing Vernon speak calmly between each individual outburst of passionate performance was awe inspiring in itself, as was seeing Vernon oblivious to his incredible worldwide reception. He began the set by simply thanking the crowd for turning up.

He delivered most of the songs from the album, and all of the Blood Bank Ep except Woods (understandably if you've heard the.. complex vocal arrangement) and Brackett, W9 from the Dark Was The Night compilation. Although he finished with Lump Sum, the highpoint of the set was without doubt The Wolves (Act I And II), where audience participation in the outro for 'What might have been lost' led perfectly into screams of appreciation and applause around the packed park area. People were watching from as far back as we could see from the front, the sun had set, and torches and lights showed up against the low-lit onlookers.

Delivery of every song was faultless in every case, the album ambience was created perfectly with what looked like a fairly standard, but slightly heavy on the pedals stage set up. The hour wait we had for the start was worth it when you heard the result of the endless tunings, sounds and effects in set up. If there's one thing anyone takes from this article, i hope that it should be that Bon Iver shows are life changing.

Bon Iver - Brackett, W9

Bon Iver - The Wolves (Act I And II)

mp3s and disposable camera photos will follow, on the two conditions that they come out when i get them developed tomorrow despite the low light, and that i somehow get rid of this virus from my computer.

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