Review – Bon Iver @ Greek Theater – Berkeley, CA – 09/22/11

Poppinoff Sep 25th, 2011 | By
Category: Berkeley, Bon Iver, Setlist, Written Reviews

This review of Bon Iver at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, CA comes from Miss Clare Healy. If you were at this show or have ever seen Bon Iver please comment on this post letting us know what you think because “When You Tell Concerts It’s Cooler!” -lorn

Bon Iver @ Greek Theater – Berkeley, CA
Concert Review

Bon Iver

Photo by: Michael Heriford

When it comes to concerts, I like to think I have them on lockdown. Main goal is to always to arrive on time for the desired act. Simple enough right? Not this time. I’ll admit that we were running a bit behind schedule, however, the logistics of the Greek Theater gave us a few unexpected hurdles. Once within the proximity of the venue, we were ready to bolt for the show in hopes of still getting a seat. No parking lot and no street parking in all of Berkeley made this a bit difficult. We started stressing but thought we were still doing okay on time. Until we heard it.

A roar from a crowd. A roar that could only suit the one and only Bon Iver. The roar was only to be followed by the first few melancholy, yet soothing chords of “Perth,” a song off Bon Iver’s new self-titled album. We were frantic. Bon Iver, born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin as Justin Vernon, is a folk indie singer and song writer. I have never had the chance to see him, but my love for his music has been growing exponentially over the past year and a half. We had two options. To keep driving around in hopes of finding parking but potentially miss his set. oorrrrrrr to park in a red zone, sprint to see his set and spring back in hopes of not getting a ticket or towed. We went with the latter (and luckily, we made a clean escape).

I had heard nothing but good things about the Greek Theater of Berkeley, but this was a first for me as well. It definitely held up to expectations. Beautiful stage set-up, incredible view of the Berkeley skyline, and as you could expect, a very friendly crowd. It was very clear that every single person in attendance was a devoted Bon Iver fan. I have never seen a crowd stand still in utter silence out of awe of the performer. Not a word was heard throughout the entire show, just admiring eyes and an aura of respect so thick you could feel it. As we walked into the amphitheater, he was gracing the audience with “Calgary” and glided right into “Michicant” and “Beach Baby.” He performed most of the songs off of his newer album towards the beginning while saving the heart-wrenching oldies for the second half of the performance.

His soothing melodies and soulful riffs completely fulfilled the entire amphitheater. Looks of awe were plastered to everyone’s faces for the entire hour and a half. Backed by an eight-person ensemble, Bon Iver flaunted a new but overwhelmingly groovy sound. However, his passionate, country voice was still effervescent as he melted the souls of each person in attendance. Tears were not an uncommon sight at this show. After he finished performing “Holocene” about half way through his set, complete satisfaction was reached, as it was a highlight of the show. However, he did not stop there. Immediately following this song, he sailed right into a solo acoustic performance of “Stacks,” one of his beloved classics. Every song of his was an experience in itself, triggering a different emotion each time. As always, his set ended much too soon, but he pleased the audience in every sense with his encore of “Skinny Love” and “Flume.” I can only hope that Bon Iver graces the west coast again soon. – Clare Healy

Bon Iver @ Greek Theater – Berkeley, CA – 09/22/11 Setlist

  1. Perth
  2. Minnesota, WI
  3. Calgary
  4. Michicant
  5. Flume
  6. Hinnom, TX
  7. Wash.
  8. Blood Bank
  9. Beach Baby
  10. Babys
  11. Towers
  12. Creature Fear
  13. Re: Stacks
  14. Holocene
  15. Beth/Rest
  16. The Wolves (Act I and II)
    Encore:
  17. Skinny Love
  18. For Emma
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