Bon Iver at Sunrise

on sunday morning bon iver played at the hollywood forever cemetery in hollywood.  this would be odd enough, but for some reason everyone thought it would a good idea to have the concert at sunrise.  my last post was about the bon iver show a few days earlier at the hollywood wiltern, and how it seemed to bring the crowd and band together.  in a weird way, the sunrise show had the opposite effect but not in a bad way.  the gates opened at 12AM and the actual concert began at about 6AM.  in the meantime, a two special playlists selected by justin vernon himself and a few other bits and pieces were played to keep everyone busy.  walking in to the show i passed by the grave of johnny ramone and a ton of old, rich jewish lawyers and other folks of that ilk.  throughout the night it was unseasonably cold for LA and a thick fog rolled in.  at one point i left the comfort of my sleeping bag to go to the bathroom and walked by a bunch of stone sculptures that looked incredibly lifelike, considering you could barely see 10 feet in front of you through the fog.  palm trees rose tall and slim through the night, with only their tops visible.  it looked like perpetual black fireworks hanging in the air.  the whole “seating area” was littered with blankets and sleeping bags, some lit up by small purple LEDs, with people playing and sleeping and eating and often times miserable at the weather and other various activities.  in a way it reminded me of some sort of techno gulag.

you can watch the sun come up in that clip but the sound quality is not so great.

around 5:30 a bunch of orange clad monks blessed the crowd and the stage with a rhythmic chant.  i wish i had a camera or video to share because it was incredible.  ive never heard anything like it and there was an entranced silence from the crowd throughout the prayer.  finally at 6 bon iver emerged and played the show – the exact same set from the previous show (minus one song).  at first the morning was still dark and the crowd was encompassed in night; justin admitted he couldnt see anyone because of the bright lights shining in his face.  after maybe 4 songs the sun began to rise and slowly the audience emerged and we could see the depth of the crowd.  the sky changed from orange to pink to white and the fog remained, scattering a weird light all around, like sitting in a bowl of bright colored soup.  as the set list progressed, everyone warmed and seemed to wake up.  i dont remember justins exact words but the whole thing seemed very surreal and even he admitted it was probably the weirdest thing any of us had ever done.  i hope i have expressed how eerie and “out of body” the whole thing felt.  the whole thing just seemed to float in with the fog and back out.  i have never been more tired and i am probably too old to ever do that again, but it was a real interesting experience.  it felt completely from another universe.  at the end of the show justin said “lets do this again, maybe.  maybe never…” seeming to suggest that he, like the crowd, had no idea what to think of the whole thing.

here is the playlist from justin vernon.  also, the movie “bottle rocket” was played halfway through the night, followed by parts of the documentary “Planet Earth” which I think really confused a lot of stoners.

Quitting Time – The Roches

Blue Bird – The Rosebuds

Emotional Champ – New Buffalo

No Use in Crying – The Rolling Stones

Say it Again – Don Williams

Feel Like Making Love – D’Angelo

Short Road – Wax Stag

Im a King Bee – Slim Harpo

Shake ‘Em On Down – Mississippi Fred McDowell

Nick of Time – Bonnie Raitt

I Can See The Pines Are Dancing – AA Bondy

On The Sunny Side of the Street – James Booker

Apartment #9 – Tammy Wynette

How Am I Different – Aimee Mann

Flim – The Bad Plus

Jailbreak! – Amateur Love

Muskrat Love – Captain & Tennille

Jim Cain – Bill Callahan

Algo Esta Cambiando (live) – Julietta Venegas

Didnt it Rain – Mahalia Jackson

No Intention – The Dirty Projectors

Seems Im Never Tired Loving You – Nina Simone

Me – You = Loneliness – Dr. John

Black Flowers – Yo La Tengo

A Little Lost – Arthur Russell

Steal Away – Sam Cooke

Boliviana – Ibrahim Ferrer

Uncloudy Day – Staple Singers

I Havent Seen This Day Before – Innocence Mission

In Dulci Jubilo – Vienna Boys Choir

Minneapolis – Lucinda Williams

We May Well Be The Ones – Paul Westerberg

By Your Side – Sade

The Kiss – Judee Sill


One response to “Bon Iver at Sunrise

  1. I’m loving the tags on this post haha

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