WATCH: Full Bon Iver NPR Live Concert @ Pioneer Works 12.4.16

This was the piece of media that allowed me to finally “get” Bon Iver and the music that Justin Vernon makes. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate it before, but it hadn’t grabbed me yet. And even the studio versions of 22, A Million never totally made sense to me until I saw this video and saw him doing it live. Wow.

This music was performed by a powerful big band, with two drummers and a sax ensemble backing upfront processed sounds, like vocal alterations and sampling, alongside electric and acoustic guitars. It was a visionary performance, fit perfectly to brilliant lighting and sound, seemingly executed down to fine detail by a guy in a Tipitina’s T-shirt, loose pants and high-tops: unassuming, seemingly uncaring, but most certainly in control. –Bob Boilen

SETLIST:

0:16 10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄
2:59 33 ‘GOD’
6:45 Heavenly Father
10:50 29 #Strafford APTS
15:34 Beach Baby
18:33 666 ʇ
23:43 715 – CRΣΣKS
26:20 Calgary
31:01 22 (OVER S∞∞N)
34:44 8 (circle)
40:54 Minnesota, WI
48:13 ____45_____
54:15 Creature Fear
1:00:35 00000 Million

MUSICIANS:

Justin Vernon: vocals, guitar, keys, processing
Andrew Fitzpatrick: guitar, processing, vocals
Michael Lewis: bass, synth-bass, saxophone, vocals
Sean Carey: drums, keys, vocals
Matt McCaughan: drums, vocals
Nelson Devereaux: saxophone
Stephanie Wieseler: saxophone
Dustin Laurenzi: saxophone
Chris Thompson: saxophone
Cole Pulice: saxophone.