Those of us fortunate enough to see Bon Iver in concert, at Prospect Park Bandshell, understand that we experienced pure musical magic. The concert was a part of the Celebrate Brooklyn! series and it was my first official show there (because watching Andrew Bird for one song, from outside the gates, hardly seems to count). And it was my favorite show I've experienced since I moved to New York a year ago.
Both Bon Iver albums are subtly beautiful. You listen and gladly invite the glorious melancholy to creep into your skin. The albums are subtly epic--audio masterpieces that don't require loudly ampliefied instruments or insanely catchy beats to make you feel the grandeur. Their concert at Prospect Park, however, really felt epic in a more traditional or obvious sense. I was surprised to feel so physically energized by the sound. Without even realizing it till the end, I found myself on my feet the whole show. I was ecstaticly bouncing around and clapping when they played "Calgary" and "Flume" back-to-back. And I was immesurably happy when they did two encores that included "Skinny Love", "Wolves", and a cover of Bjork's "Who Is It" (from her album Medulla).
Bon Iver is even more magical live. You really hear the entire band and all the instrumental contributions because you get to see and feel their energy in person. Justin Vernon's voice is that uniquely, painfully wonderful. And Vernon was the sweetest, humblest lead singer, constantly thanking the audience for coming out to Bon Iver's biggest headlining show. But it's really us, the audience, that have to thank him, the rest of the band, and the New York weather Gods for giving us such an unforgettable Summer evening. It truly was one of my favorite concert experiences.