Favorite

Live 

Bon Iver, Feist, TCC Arena, April 23

Bon Iver and Feist use the immediacy of live performance to make their songs swell with much greater intensity. And though the (sadly unfilled) Convention Center Arena might seem like an awkward venue, the cavernous space is well-suited for the sound of both bands.

Feist came bounding onto the stage first, opening with a rocking version of "Undiscovered First." With a trio of backup singers in flowing dresses, and backed nimble multi-instrumentalists, Feist ran through 13 songs, mostly from last year's Metals ("How Come You Never Go There," "Graveyard" and "A Commotion") and 2007's The Reminder (the amazing "I Feel It All," a jagged, psychedelic rendition of "My Moon My Man" and the closing "Sealion").

Bon Iver took the stage—with elaborate candle-like lighting framed by netting draped from above—and began with a trio of songs from its Grammy-winning self-titled album: military marching drums guiding a bombastic rendition of "Perth," the effervescent "Minnesota, WI" and "Towers," with its chiming guitar and Southwestern horns.

The nine-member band features two drummers and a field of multi-instrumentalists, which gives Justin Vernon the power to deconstruct earlier songs like "Flume" live, injecting an experimental break into the high-and-lonesome acoustic song.

The gorgeous "Holocene" started the show's strongest stretch (while drawing out numerous cell-phone videographers) with a segue that featured saxophonist Colin Stetson detouring into avant-garde jazz. After the rest of the band joined in a burst of noise, they launched into the pulsating "Blood Bank," with the stage bathed in red lights. After that spellbinding cacophony, the rest of the band left the stage to Vernon, alone under four spotlights, for the aching, fragile "Re:Stacks," the last song he recorded in his Wisconsin cabin before emerging with his breakthrough album, For Emma, Forever Ago.

"Skinny Love" was unmistakable from the opening steel-guitar strums. All but the horn players joined in the distraught chorus, and pushed by booming drums, the sound built like a gathering storm.

The encore featured the crowd sing-along of "The Wolves (Act I and II)" and the bright horns of "For Emma," both songs that capture Bon Iver's essence by pairing intimacy with a grand, expansive sound.

More by Eric Swedlund

  • Liberate, Create!

    A trio of skilled songsmiths generate a new folk-rock
    • Apr 13, 2017
  • Preaching the Bad Testament

    Scott H. Biram—the original Dirty Old One Man Band—is back in the pulpit
    • Apr 6, 2017
  • In the Moment

    Austin Counts on soul, Lonesome Desert and Pima County Jail
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

The Range

Get Your Fair On!

Streets of This Town: Spring

More »

Latest in Live

  • Noise Annoys

    Baby Gas Mask, absurdist soul and prog, plus Chaka!
    • Oct 13, 2016
  • B-Sides: DJQ

    MUSIC AS POETRY
    • Jul 28, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Growing Old with Moz

    He’s still better than a stupid T-shirt
    • Apr 6, 2017
  • Tale of Two Cities

    Seattle’s Tacocat talks up the real cost of gentrification, Tucsonans chime in
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation