Sunday, September 18, 2011
I’d anticipated it for months. For one night, and one night only, Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver teamed up to deliver a killer concert. There was little time to get ready after work. So a tease of the hair, change of shirt and the slip on of black moccasins had to suffice. Dinner was salty carmel frapps and a pumpkin scone. A half hour later and Lindsey and I were in downtown Phoenix, amidst a sea of beanies, plaid, skinny jeans and black-rimmed glasses. The streets buzzing with hipsters as we stood beneath a sign with flashing red letters, “Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes.”
The venue was new to me-- large, wide, open. The perfect scene. We found our seats on the second level in time to hear The Walkmen’s performance. I’d remembered them from my days watching The O.C. Between sets the screen read, “You are at a musical concert. Congratulations.” Beautiful melodies by Fleet Foxes combined with kaleidoscope patterns on the screen kept me in a trance. And by the end I was hungry, tired and in complete anticipation of Bon Iver.
Bohemian rugs scattered across the stage. Lights in the background. There are no words to explain the next hour. All I can say is it was by far the most fantastic concert I’ve attended. I was awestruck and mesmerized from start to finish. Justin Vernon’s voice, the violinist, two drum sets, sax, french horn, trumpet, guitars, keyboards, combined into the most beautiful sound. It was everything music should be. It was art. It was inspiration. It was true. It was rad. And it all came to a close with The Wolves and Skinny Love, where the audience and all members of the band (aside from the drummers) sang and clapped in unison. The Bon Iver frontman said it best-- that night was like “f’in birthday cake.”