Concert Review | The Billiken Club 04/09/08 Bon Iver and Collections of Colonies of Bees

After experiencing what felt like the longest week of my life. Bon Iver and Collections of Colonies of Bees could not have come any sooner. They were exactly what everyone needed at that time in the room. A reconfirmation that there is great music in the world.

The first of the two band bill was Collections of Colonies of Bees from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They are a 5 piece band that played mostly instrumental music. The sound resembled a less epic Explosions in the Sky or Mogwai. Although the songs sounded great, the band lacked a huge stage presence. There was a man who had a keytar and I was really confused if he actually used it or not. I probably would have preferred just to buy their record on vinyl and listen to that. They were a great and fitting band to open for Bon Iver, but it was sad that there wasn’t more people to see them.

By the time that Bon Iver had taken stage, the whole venue was jammed with fans. These people like me probably had huge expectations of what to expect with the acoustic guitar falsetto crooner. Being a huge fan of his only release For Emma, Forever Ago. I didn’t know how I would adapt to him not playing the whole album straight through. But by the time, “Skinny Love” was performed, I had realized that Justin Vernes was in fact playing his whole album through. After the song he confessed that his father told him that no one would ever want to listen to him perform his album straight through and he bitterly stated, “Well fuck you dad.” The performance was amazing and I never thought he could sing his falsetto so well in person. Not only could Justin sing well, but his entire backing band also had falsettos. Everything was synchronized so well and I never thought I’d see one of my favorite albums of this year performed beyond perfection. This concert was the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced. If you weren’t there, be sad that you missed out. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about how good this performance would be.

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