Coverage: Bon Iver skips ‘Skinny Love’ but brings some true bangers in its place |

Coverage: Bon Iver skips ‘Skinny Love’ but brings some true bangers in its place

Bon Iver's stage setup was composed of six platforms with a spot for each musician. Each performance area was set off by colorful lighting that changed along with each song.
Casey Russell |

Bon Iver played the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater on Labor Day. His Sept. 2 show saw a stellar performance from his band as well as opener Sharon Van Etten.

Number of people: The show wasn’t quite sold out, but the venue was pretty packed with more than 2,200 attendants. The Ford Amphitheater’s venue capacity is 2650.

Hometown shoutouts: Though Bon Iver – the stage name of Justin Vernon – hadn’t played in Vail before, towards the end of the show, he gave a shoutout to the Bright Future Foundation. As part of this tour, many of Bon Iver’s shows feature a local non-profit, giving them valuable booth space at shows to spread the word about its mission. The Bright Future Foundation works to fight relationship violence in Eagle County.

Tender moment: Bon Iver was stingy with old hits, forgoing favorites like “Skinny Love” and “Holocene,” but he did break out one track from “For Emma, Forever Ago.” Sept. 2’s version of “Re: Stacks” was a surprise in a set mostly dominated by recent work from his new album “i,i.” He played it a few keys higher than the original, giving a new take on the now 11-year-old song.

Best musical moment: Ladies took the night on this one. Van Etten’s performance was as shining as the glittery suit combo she wore on stage. She shredded and howled along with her music. Jenn Wasner, a member of Bon Iver’s band and one half of indie rock band Wye Oak, switched between several guitars, keyboard and even had a brief vocal solo that sent the audience erupting in cheers.

Most memorable quotes: Van Etten and Vernon gave each other shoutouts on stage. Van Etten remembered her early days in the music business: “I’ve learned a lot from starting solo and driving myself cross country. I remember when Vernon and The National covered ‘Love More.’ Justin and Bon Iver, it means so much that you brought us out with you.” Vernon praised her right back: “We’ve gotten to be friends for a long time. God, it’s good to know people for a long time when they’re that pure and that good.”

Support Local Journalism