It was love at first sight for us with Justin Vernon. For Emma, Forever Ago is a great listen top to bottom, but we’ve noted that some of its songs — “Skinny Love” and “The Wolves (Act I & II),” in particular — become particularly moving showcases for Justin’s hearty falsetto in a live setting. Now we’re bringing you the evidence. To document the stacked Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar/Dead Oceans bill at Mohawk last Thursday in Austin, we had Stereogum videographer Raph Rodriguez stand above the patio and capture Justin and band working through both our Iver live faves. Here’s “Skinny Love”:

Up next is both acts of “The Wolves.” As is custom, Justin cues the crowd to chant “What might have been lost” (sans the record’s Cher vocal filter) as Raph slowly zooms out, bringing a little sweeping majesty to our Good Friday morning.

“The Wolves (Act I & II)”

And that’s why you should go see Bon Iver live.

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Comments (9)
  1. JAY  |   Posted on Mar 21st, 2008 0

    I was pretty drunk but i think that showcase was thursday night.

  2. dm  |   Posted on Mar 21st, 2008 0

    I’m pretty sure that there’s no autotuning (the “Cher vocal filter”) on his vocals on the record. Call me crazy.

    • i won’t call you crazy, but i will tell you to cue up “The Wolves” at 2:53 or so and listen to Justin’s voice for the next while. it’s not because he has pitch issues, it’s just for effect. but it’s there … right?

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was so sad when tix sold out here in Boston. So sad they were “holding all the tickets” and I was “owning all the fines”.

  4. dm  |   Posted on Mar 21st, 2008 0

    After relistening, it still sounds to me like he’s multitracking his voice as usual – the timbres of the vocals all sound intact and varied from each other. I get how one might hear it as processing though – the blend of the vocals is pretty amazing, perhaps too amazing to be natural. Brilliant brilliant song, in any event. Thanks for the footage.

  5. raklosen  |   Posted on Mar 21st, 2008 0

    that is the only song on the album that i can’t listen to. the vocal effects just bug me too much in a record that is otherwise so built on vibe. love the rest, though, and it’s nice to see he can pull it off live.

  6. Luis  |   Posted on Apr 3rd, 2008 0

    i am on of those people standing in front of the stage and i really wanna get my hands on this footage because of how great it was. I’ll pay whatever i just need to own this.

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