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The backstory behind Bon Iver‘s first record, For Emma, Forever Ago is well-known: Musician goes to a hunting cabin in the woods for three months during a Wisconsin winter after separating from his band and his girlfriend. Heartache and angst get channeled into a bunch of songs about heartache and angst, sung in falsetto. Songs wind up on a record that blow away indie-rock critics and fans.
How does songwriter Justin Vernon follow that up? On Bon Iver’s latest record, Vernon sometimes sings in a lower register; live, he’s got seven other musicians including a horn section, two drummers, and a guy who beatboxes. Oh, and a whole bunch of influences from Kayne West (sans sunglasses and Macbook rages, thankfully). Typical? Nope. Odd? Sorta. But well-received and loved? Apparently so, as Bon Iver’s two shows at the 9:30 Club were sold out. Here are some shots from last night’s concert.
(More photos from last night’s show can be seen here.)