Bon Iver in Bangkok, hitting us in the feels.

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Bon Iver took us on a musical journey covering all of the tracks from their latest album release i,i.

One of the best live performances I have EVER seen has been Bon Iver. With this in mind, I already had some high expectations. The latest album has the unique title of i,i and If you are a fan of the new album then you would have been blown away by the fact that they played EVERY song from it. Some bands dip and some even fall from their glory days, but it’s certainly not the case with Bon Iver. The album is so masterfully crafted, every sound, every distortion is perfectly rendered and meant to be there.
I had such pure unadulterated joy from the start – the familiar marching drum, beating the intro for ‘Perth’. The studio was in darkness and it was difficult to see anyone, but the melody and vocal drew us in as our eyes were drawn to the lit stage.
One of the tracks I was most looking forward to hearing was the gospel-like ‘U (man like)’, which is a very uplifting track from the new album that features a beautiful piano score from Bruce Hornsby. The lyric “And the lines have run too deep” that is usually sung by Bruce Hornsby on the album, was sung by the wonderful Jenn Wasner. A cheer rang out from us all as her sweet voice filled the hall and we revelled in it.
© VIJI Corp
Skinny Love is their most well-known track worldwide and so there was a lot of love from the crowd when he performed this solo piece. Most of us knew the words, but the crowd was silently soaking up his vocal. Though I could hear when we all joined him with the “My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my”. The music evokes so many emotions and feelings. It was not just for the music, but also for the shared experience.
Justin Vernon took some time out to tell us about Bon Iver’s partnership with #2abillion in a campaign called Freedom Restoration Project. This project exists to interrupt the narrative of abuse and domestic violence for people in the migrant communities on the border of Thailand and Burma. Through education and empowerment, it aims to break the destructive chain of domestic abuse. The Selah Center is a day center designed to strengthen women’s resilience to protect themselves and their children. 100% of the proceeds gathered from the auctioned Bon Iver merchandise and artwork would benefit them.
The drummers Sean Carey and Matthew McCaughan made the show very anthemic. One such track that did this for me was ‘Naeem’. And as the drum beats quickened, it felt as though they lifted our souls up with them.
They did not disappoint us with their final song choices. The night ended with ‘Blood Bank’ taking us back to 2009, along with the dreamy ‘Holocene’ with the lingering lyric “I could see for miles, miles, miles”. Then the final track ‘RABi’, which is also the final track from i,i.
I felt so much appreciation in our final moments with them, and with those we could share it with.
Massive thank you to VIJI Corp for the feels.





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