Monday, 12 November 2012
FOR THE RECORD: BON IVER @ Manchester Arena-9TH NOVEMBER 2012
'For Holly, Forever More'.
For those who don't know-or think it's just a 'Bon Jovi' typo-Bon Iver are one of the greatest bands in the world. This is just how good these folks are. Bon and his Iver's are becoming so big they deserve a stadium worthy of that sound. The amazing acoustics of the Manchester Arena (once voted the worlds best) provided just that last week on the latest leg of the bandsmen's tour, which won't stop running. A tour with more at stake with the support of the fantastic female trio 'The Staves' who echoed their harmonies throughout the arena and the attendees phone search engines. Save your search their album is out now.
This writer had a talk with a friend who has followed this group its whole career. From the first E.P and the small venues to 'For Emma, Forever Ago' and the theatre's he has seen them in the most intimate and inspiring musical ways. Reluctant to see them in such a big arena known for hard-rock Gods, he wondered how the sound would translate. Well the beautiful, atmospheric on their acoustics still reaches the sold out seats. While the epic sound of their latest self-titled set gets the electric, Dylan scaling treatment. Both styles of sound able to bring a tear to any eye and run like lightening through any vein.
From the perfect Bon Iver album opener 'Perth' (this may be the bands best number) Zepellin esque intro this group never goes under. They let their sensational, sublime sound reach the ceiling all night to the new album closer 'Beth/Rest'. Along with the enthusiastic encore of the cult, classic-full 'Skinny Love' and the equally sung along dedication 'For Emma' that will be devoted forever more, like the people spent in each others company on this 'remember for the rest of your life', amazing night.
The checked shirt, log cabin, 'Movember' every month favorites traversed much ground on their stop in England. From the aforementioned to 'Minnesota, WI' and 'Brackett, WI' to 'Hinnom, Tx', beautiful 'Lisbon' and timeless 'Calgary'. Bon also got lost in the 'Woods' for a vocal sample that Kanye West would struggle to match. Recording himself and playing out a stunning solo, looper harmony hotter than Joesph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis playing the same guy in a movie.
From the rising 'Towers' to the formidable 'Flume' and the epic E.P. of 'Blood Bank' and the haunting 'Holocene' the set was listed with greats. Still it was the creepings of 'Creature Fear' and the salvation of 'Wash' that gave this night it's most stunning and moving performances. Draped in straw scarecrow stage throws and lit by nothing but the simple but atmospheric stage candles and the audiences flashing phones this was a picture perfect night. The kind of night you should spend with the one you love the most, because when it comes to modern, mainstream music it doesn't get much deeper, more dedicated, beautiful or unforgettable than a Bon Iver show. TIM DAVID HARVEY.