Image Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABC
Last night, Bedford Ave. awoke to find itself in the heart of midtown.
Radio City Music Hall, that gilded palace of pop, teemed with flannel and fitted jeans, nose rings and horn-rimmed glasses, as Brooklyn’s poster children amassed to see their ambassador to planet earth: Bon Iver.
Anaïs Mitchell, whose 2010 folk opera Hadestown featured Iver’s Justin Vernon as the mythical bard Orpheus, opened the night with a short set that was pleasant but unremarkable. Her voice, a perennially youthful coo, lacks emotional range; happy or sad, every song sounds like it’s sung by your perky younger sister. It makes for an endearing stage presence—she totally pulls off phrases like “super rad”—but isn’t particularly affecting. Only when she closed with Hadestown’s funereal “Why We Build the Wall” did the material reach beyond typical indie folk.
Bon Iver’s set, the second of a multi-night stand at Radio City, began with the sound of wind chimes – a suitable entrance, given For Emma Forever Ago’s front-porch intimacy. But this tour isn’t supporting that record; it’s supporting last year’s Bon Iver, Bon Iver, an album whose approach to folk is decidedly maximalist and layered. As such, Vernon took the stage accompanied by eight other musicians: two drummers, two guitarists, a bassist, a violinist, and three horn players. To recreate the album’s grandeur apparently requires a small army. READ FULL STORY