Bon Iver

ACL Live Shots

Bon Iver
Bon Iver (Photo by John Anderson)

Bon Iver

Oct. 3, Zilker Park

The weather was perfect for Bon Iver's set. Even Justin Vernon said so. Backed by a threepiece band, Wisconsin boy Vernon, in a white T-shirt and jeans, welcomed the downpour Saturday afternoon, opener "Creature Fear" ending with a thunderbolt of noise. In fact, it was the noisier jams where Bon Iver excelled. Vernon's critically lauded 2008 debut, For Emma, Forever Ago, tackled depression and solitude, his rubber-band voice the saving grace among simple guitar. Live, songs from Emma, as well as the title track from new EP Blood Bank, took on a new life; harmonies were spot on, and at one point, his backing band was all playing drums. The midsection of the set started meandering with Vernon solo on guitar, but closers "For Emma" and "The Wolves" rekindled the flame. Thanks to his songs being featured on a variety of student-friendly TV shows, Vernon's appeal has doubled in the last year – quite a few guys in backward hats and Longhorns shirts singing along in the crowd – but the sensitive singer-songwriter veil was lifted during those final moments of cacophony.

The 2021-2022 Austin Music Awards Music Poll is underway. Vote now for your favorite bands, venues, and music until January 31.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Bon Iver
Phases & Stages
Bon Iver
Bon Iver (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, June 24, 2011

SXSW Platters
Bon Iver
For Emma, Forever Ago (Record Review)

Darcie Stevens, March 14, 2008

More Music Reviews
Faster Than Sound: Musical Top 10s of 2021
Musical Top 10s of 2021
One writer's favorite Austin-sourced albums, songs, and such from the last 12 months

Rachel Rascoe, Dec. 17, 2021

Review: Heartless Bastards <i>A Beautiful Life</i>
Heartless Bastards A Beautiful Life
A Beautiful Life (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Sept. 17, 2021

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013


Bon Iver

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle