One of the most surprising concert announcements in recent living memory (overly dramatic much?) was Bon Iver’s small list of Asian concerts announced for February 2016. With one of those stops being none other than Singapore.
Bon Iver had not played since July 2015 in the USA and before that their last concert was in November 2012 in good old Ireland. So all of this came as a lovely big musical shock.
I’ve been to the Star Theatre a couple of times before to see Phoenix and also Travis. It’s an all seating venue but once lights go off it’s usually standing all the way with some moderate rushes up the aisles to get closer to the stage (which was not the case this time with Bon Iver). The venue is located directly beside Buona Vista MRT station on the Orange line. You do also have to endure several thousand escalator rides to get to the actual theater on the top floor (elevators? pfftt!). Beer is a standard $10 for a Tiger, Heineken, or Carlsberg. Wine is at $13. You can take drinks with you inside once poured.
Soooo the actual concert itself? Musically,vocally, and harmoniously top class stuff. Plenty of goose-bump inducing vocals from both Justin Vernon and his back-up vocalists throughout the 16 song set and with the dueling drummers constantly setting the tempo, the overall performance was a sight (and sound) to behold.
From the stunning overlapped vocals of set starter Woods, through instantly remembered Bon Iver classics such as Flume, Blindsided, Skinny Love, and set closer For Emma, the quality did not waiver at any point. From listening to Bon Iver’s albums nobody would argue with the fact that Justin’s vocals are amazing. In a live setting, when he hits the high notes they are crystal clear and beautiful and when he hits the low notes they are soulful and often heart-breaking.
Justin seemed incredibly gracious to be here in Singapore and had a few interactions with the appreciative crowd (who waited until the encore to rush the aisles) but for the most part he let the music do the talking.
Here’s to a new album at some point soon…