This week my housemate and I ventured to see the incredible Bon Iver live in Hong Kong and I honestly left the venue feeling genuinely moved by the experience. That’s a rare thing for me to say because I usually like to stick to the long engrained British traditions of sarcasm and being too cool to care.
From the start, the set gave me goosebumps. I got a chill through me when he began harmonising Woods for his opener, goosebumps when my favourite Flume was played and Re: Stacks got a real tear down my cheek – the first, I’ll admit, for a while, and more importantly ever at a gig. It just hit something in me and amplified any kind of pain or thought I was feeling or had felt. I found myself stood there simultaneously thinking about my own past relationships and how they played out and I guess feeling some of the pain that Justin Vernon was experiencing when writing the brilliant album that is For Emma, Forever Ago. There has got to be credit given to an artist that can make you do that. In that sense, the whole gig ended up being a very cathartic experience.
I was pumped for watching them live seeing as they’re one of the regulars that gets wacked on the speakers on a chilled evening but I wasn’t sure what kind of atmosphere this music would create. But, if I were to choose a singular word, then I’d choose ‘powerful’. They wowed me. Honestly, they really tugged on the old heartstrings – difficult task.