"So Many Foreign Roads"
It's been just a little over four months since we first fell in love with Bon Iver at the Bowery Ballroom. Leaves died and fell from trees. Snow fell and covered evergreen trees and all the while we had our trusty handmade copy of For Emma, Forever Ago to keep us warm. For Emma... feels like drinking a mug of hot cider by the fire place in Northern New England, when the snow is thick and the only sign of neighbors is billowing smoke from a chimney three miles away. It's warm, it's comforting, it's folkie, and it feels like wearing your oldest, most favorite wool sweater.
Thursday nights free show at Sound Fix felt the same way. The atmosphere couldn't have been more fitting for Justin Vernon's atmospheric folk. Everything was right, from the chandelier to the dark golden light to the superb mix. And while the mix was superb, Justin's amp decided it wanted to pick up some Spanish radio frequencies, which it did for 80% of the show. Not one to let a little Merengue bother him, Justin played it off cool, saying that he had decided to do that, a little experimentation, after all he was in Brooklyn. Not gonna lie, for most of the show, it worked, adding a hint of CB radio warmth to his already cozy sound. Luckily, the Spanish radio cut out and allowed Justin the chance to play the ultra hushed "Re: Stacks" and hit the piano for a heart-wrenching cover of "Satisfied Mind", which was as good, if not better, than the versions by Jeff Buckley and Johnny Cash. Yeah, it was that sort of magical evening. And what better way to finish it off than with a totally acoustic version of "For Emma" in the middle of the utterly silent crowd.
After the show we picked up the vinyl copy of For Emma... (via JagJaguwar) and chatted with Justin for a hot second, who was just as charming and genuine as he was at CMJ. The evening finished with an epic drive through the snow covered streets of Northwestern Jersey at 3 am. The perfect ending for an evening with Bon Iver.
"Lump Sum" on The Current