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Bon Iver Astonishes Crowd at TD Garden

October 24, 2019 | By Norman Zeng

American Indie folk band Bon Iver took to the big stage on Oct. 15 at TD Garden, putting on a show filled with phenomenal vocals and dynamic, electronic music. They have come a long way, from being an underground hit to becoming one of the leading musical inspirations of this generation. Their unique sound and talent have allowed them to work with other artists such as Kanye West, Travis Scott, Lizzo, and more. Bon Iver’s current tour is for their latest album, i,i. It is arguably one of their most experimental pieces yet.

Photo Courtesy of Graham Tolbert

First on stage was Leslie Feist, known as Feist. Her soft yet exhilarating songs and vocals set the mood for what was later to come. Taking advantage of the space and the crowd, she seized her moment, reminding us of the power in a simple setup. The energy was lively, leaving the audience very excited for Bon Iver.

 

The crowd was greeted by a series of shifting images, including a loading bar which moved on the stage’s screens. In line with the aesthetic visuals of i,i’s album cover, many images displayed on the stage’s screen were split up. They were simple but effective shots. The crowd’s anticipation heightened as they saw the band’s members surrounded by lights, all six evenly spread across the stage. Yi, the first song off their new album, rang throughout the venue with its screeches and distorted instrumental parts. Screams from the crowd quickly rose and settled as Bon Iver took the stage.

Photo Courtesy of Graham Tolbert

Not only did Bon Iver experiment with their sound and vocals during the show, but they also elevated the atmosphere with live sounds and playful lights. The lights surrounded each of the members, and were displayed above and around the stage itself, along with mirrors and spotlights.

 

Of course, after Bon Iver played a couple of songs from their new album, such as Yi, iMi, and We, they switched back to playing some of their older tracks, such as 666 ʇ. They weaved in and out of their older songs and newer ones, each time giving new interpretations to their old songs and offering them some new perspective. Amazing song performances with the whole band were broken up by more sentimental pieces, during which all eyes were on lead singer Justin Vernon, with a spotlight focusing on him. Each song and performance was emotional, telling the story of human pain and triumph — especially for the band.

 

The concert allowed audience members to see the evolution of Bon Iver, from the “song that started it all,” Flume, to more emotionally powerful songs like Blood Banks, to experimental works such as ____45_____. The crowd was astonished by Bon Iver’s vocal range and emotion when the band delivered their final song of the night, Naeem.  White lights filled the room and strobed around the audience: a sentimental last piece as the band prepared to depart. Bon Iver said that they were deeply humbled by the audience’s presence, as just as the audience was by theirs. The band members each left their stations and headed backstage, the crowd left with an experience that can only be best described as emotional and bittersweet.