With his button-down shirt neatly tucked in, frontman Justin Vernon and his bandmates made their way on stage as thousands of fans clapped and cheered, eagerly awaiting the start of what they knew would be an incredible night.
Joined on tour by five additional musicians, the nine members strong Bon Iver started things off with Perth, the first track from their recent eponymous album. Its melodic energy flowed throughout the Gibson Amphitheater; Vernon's falsetto voice delicately bouncing off walls and warm bodies.
The band then proceeded to play through songs from both their LPs (For Emma, Forever Ago and Bon Iver, Bon Iver) and EP (Blood Bank), including the set-closing track The Wolves (Act I and II) that featured a singalong with the audience, who, upon the song's completion, immediately rose to their feet and continued to cheer and applaud until a couple minutes later the band returned for an encore consisting of Flume and the heartwrenching Skinny Love.
Every note that night was like a sledgehammer to the heart, a bucket of ice-water dumped on your head, a fire pit lit beneath your feet--in a good way. Bon Iver attacked the senses of every member in the audience--their weapons of choice: vocal chords and fingertips that created an incredible array of sounds so beautiful they could end wars.
Bon Iver's 90-minute performance was simply breathtaking and was more than just a concert--it was an experience, and one that I can't recommend enough that you witness firsthand as no words can truly do it justice.
Experiencing Bon Iver live is like falling in love.
The Wolves (Act I and II)
Skinny Love [Encore]