In the music business, specifically in the touring part of it, there´s often an interesting [read intriguing] fact that is artists known and acclaimed in a country do not include that country in their tour dates. Not that Justin Vernon topped the charts here but even that is not enough (hint: she´s pregnant now).
Bon Iver is one of those cases. His tours always seemed to miss this little European corner but once he noticed us we thought it would be nice to sold out the venues with a few weeks in advance.
I didn´t resist and had to take a look to what kind of setlists he was doing. I liked what I saw. Also didn´t resist and took a look to the latest one in Lisbon the day before...a few changes. I thought I wouldn´t be surprised though. But with Bon Iver you never know...
And I was. Not in the beginning. Despite having started with "Woods" in Lisbon, Justin went back to the "Perth" and "Minnesota, WI" beginning, just like his second album opens. And if he spent a lot of time thinking what sequence of songs would be perfect for that album he can consider that time very well spent. We continued on that album with the wonderful single "Towers" followed by "Michicant". Here´s one thing if you have a band...if you double the element of an already cool thing you will end up having the double of fun. And that´s what happens with Bon Iver. Having a double percussion with two sets of drums sure has its impact! And what a brilliant impact that is. It owns the room. And the same goes for the double violins and double wind instruments even if at a first thought such instruments wouldn´t take over such a concert. Conclusion? Two guitars is just too mainstream...
Sings of surprises appeared. "Beach Baby", not often played was a treat. A few moments later the sequence that caught my eyes on the indiscretion through setlists that I did the day before: "Holocene", "Blood Bank", "Skinny Love", "Re: Stacks", "Creature Fear". Words should never fail to a reviewer but I can only think of the Perfect Justin (or someone for him) wrote on a photo of the concert posted on Facebook.
I´ve read that the day before in Lisbon there were some people in the audience showing their love in a very audible way during moments where they should - and also, more importantly, let the others - enjoy the show. I´m glad I read that after the Porto concert either way I would be fearing way too much on how and when someone would eventually ruin a nice moment. What can I say is that I´m still impressed for the respect showed. Sure there was a couple whistles and love you(s) but immediately followed by many intimidating ssshhh. Just like in tennis when a player is waiting for silence to serve.
"Lisbon, OH" (not played in Lisbon...don´t be mad mates...after all it´s the city in Ohio, not yours!) and "Beth/Rest" beautifully lead the way the Encore. It´s amazing to see the how a 9-members band delivers such brilliance. And here´s my kudos to them. Bon Iver is those 9 talented guys playing with a creator called Justin Vernon. And what a great band Bon Iver is!
Coming back to surprises...Björk and an illness might have been the reason why I didn´t went to a festival she was headlining and later on had to cancel her performance but karma was nice to me. "Who Is It?" not often played was right there being amazingly transformed (it even got the beatbox...and not by some machine!). I was sold. Now there was just "The Wolves (Act I and II)" to sing along until screaming the last words of the song. Literally.
P.S. If you don´t like perv people may you know leave this blog thinking you read a really good *cof* review.
Still here? Ok...
To the two girls behind me: First, sorry for being tall. [eh, not really]. Second, where´s that English accent from? Third, pretty sure angels look like the one with the white [angelic] dress.
To the lonely girl beside me: Hey, this is lonely boy. I´ve noticed you had a lot of fun. As much as I did. Singing and dancing. Well, in my case, some weird movements that I call dance but it´s probably just awkward stuff. Or an hipster dance no one ever saw before and I´m doing it before it´s cool. Moving on...since I´m a fool I didn´t talk to you, even if it was just "hello, meet you in another awesome concert?" but I´m hopeless at this. You were beautiful. Oh, in case there was more cases (weirdos like me) like this...we were about 10 meters away from stage [~10th row]. See you next time, hopefully!
P.S.1 Sam Amidon did the opening for Bon Iver. Jumping from guitar, to violin and banjo I´m sure even himself can´t quite describe his style. But it´s a cool (original) one. One of his guitar solos almost stole the night from the headliner. Almost. And what´s interesting is that the same thing I said above applies here; If you have something cool and you had a little something to it you can end up with the double of fun. I think that´s what the crowd thought when a couple of Bon Iver band members - trumpet and violin - came to play with Sam. Justin Vernon mentioned later Sam has quite an unique style and personality and you can easily see that while he´s performing.