Lithograph titled "Scoperte fatte nella luna Sigr. Herschell", 1836
The Twilight Concert Series is a local free summer concert thing that has been running for a long time, but this year's lineup is especially good, including Sonic Youth, M Ward, Iron & Wine, and the Black Keys. The season's first show was Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley) and Bon Iver - the show was the night before I was leaving on vacation (the vacation I just got back from today), but it seemed like a show worth seeing so I put off packing to go downtown and check it out. I was pretty surprised to get to the venue at 7:00 (the scheduled starting time) only to find that the plaza was already packed with people. Also, Jenny Lewis (the supposed headliner) was already playing.
I'm a fan of Rilo Kiley and Jenny Lewis's songwriting, but haven't gotten around to picking up her latest, Acid Tongue - nevertheless, it would have been nice to get there in time to get a good spot for her set. As it was, we could barely see the stage from where we were, although the band, which included Jenny's boyfriend Johnathan Rice, sounded great. The PA cut out during the set's quietest song, "Acid Tongue", but I found myself enjoying new songs like "The New Messiah" and "Big Wave" as much as older favorites like "Silver Lining" and her cover of the Traveling Wilburies' "Handle With Care" (benefiting in this setting from not having Conor Oberst on vocals).
The upside to the scheduling mix-up was that I got a better spot for Bon Iver's set, and they were quite good. I haven't really been a fan of theirs - most Bon Iver songs I've heard sounded like Fleet Foxes minus the pop hooks - but I was impressed with their live set. The stand-outs of their set included "For Emma", an epic rendition of "Babys", and a version of "The Wolves" that called for some audience sing-along. Toward the end of the set, though, they played "Blood Bank" and "Brackett, WI" (from the Dark Was the Night compilation), and those two songs really blew me away.
The two things I took away from this show were 1) I need to show up early for these free concerts if I want to be able to see anything at all, and 2) I need to go get the Bon Iver album.
"Brackett, WI" by Bon Iver