Bon Iver on SNL 2/4/12

With one week to go before the Grammys (at which Justin Vernon may win some big awards, but will not perform, thankyouverymuch) Bon Iver hit Studio 8H as musical guests for SNL’s Channing Tatum-hosted episode. The band played “Holocene” and my favorite song of last year “Beth/Rest,” plus Colin Stetson wore a Liturgy shirt. During Weekend Update, Kristen Wiig impersonated Lana Del Rey, cleverly “apologizing” for her maligned SNL performance last month. Watch Bon Iver and the Update segment below.



“Lana Del Rey” on Weekend Update

UPDATE: And here are Bon Iver’s newest tour dates:

04/12 Las Vegas, NV- The Joint @ Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas w/ All Tiny Creatures
04/14 Indio, CA- Coachella Music and Arts Festival
04/17 Davis, CA- Freeborn Hall @ UC Davis w/ All Tiny Creatures
04/19 San Francisco, CA- Bill Graham Civic Auditorium w/ All Tiny Creatures
04/21 Indio, CA- Coachella Music and Arts Festival
04/22 Santa Barbara, CA- Santa Barbara Bowl w/ All Tiny Creatures
04/23 Tucson, AZ- AVA Ampitheater
04/27 New Orleans, LA- New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
05/27 George, WA- Sasquatch Music Festival

Comments (96)
  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  2. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • If Lana Del Rey and genocide offend you equally, I think you’re doing it wrong.

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • FYI things that were as bad as ones that came before it that aren’t genocide:

      Beer commercials
      Dioramas for 5th grade science class
      Star Wars prequels
      Tapioca pudding

      You’re welcome.

    • by reminded the halfwit children of this country and the overhyped over-caffeinated blogsphere that SNL is the world capital of SHIT performances, Sgum should do a a top 20 list of horrible snl trainwreck clips, it’s endless. #1 should be fucking JLO and her lip-synching with her WIND MACHINE.

  3. I think the thing we should really focus on, besides the LDR impersonation, is the amazing performance by Bon Iver. That might be there best performance on SNL I’ve ever seen. Now I know for sure that I have to go see them this summer. I only hope he brings all those amazing supporting players.

  4. I think some people find me stiff, distant and weird but there’s a good reason for that… I am stiff distant and weird…

  5. That’s the hottest Kristen’s ever looked.

  6. Does not at all respond to the majority of legitimate critique aimed at LDR

    • You mean how she acts like a malleable doll who exists only for men and sings like a baby? I don’t expect SNL to be that astute. Kristen’s mannerisms were perfect, at least.

    • “Diane, see if you can get me a copy of this “Born to Die” album everyone is talking about. I have a feeling I’m about to uncover something big.”

  7. I think every body is missing the point here: Justin Vernon is fucking sexy.

  8. The drums sounded great on Beth/Rest! Overall flawless performance. Night and Day when compared to the previous musical guest.

  9. Also the live version of Holocene is way more dynamic than the album version. I like it more.

  10. Beth/Rest was a little clumsy in the beginning but I IMMEDIATELY loved that buildup and ending. So great.

  11. Why did they let Channing Tatum host? Colin Stetson is a heck of a handsome man (no homo) and in a Liturgy t-shirt, I think I know who’s my front -runner for male indie crush in 2012′s Gummy Awards.

    • Sorry all, I apparently upset the Channing Tatum fans on here. Alls I ams sayings is that while Tatum is a handsome fella, so is Colin Stetson and it’d be nice to see more of that guy on the tele.

    • I mainly just disapprove of the saying “no homo”.

      • Sorry about that if it rubbed you the wrong way. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being gay, but I’ll know better next time not to point out that I’m straight by using a Kanye-ism.

      • Also, I was always under the impression that “no homo” is like saying, “Yes, I’m straight but I’m comfortable enough with my sexuality to admit that there’s something about another guy that I can admire or envy.” Let me know if I’ve totally got this wrong.

        • If you’re comfortable with enough with your sexuality, you wouldn’t need to preface (or end, or stick in the middle) any sort of qualifier. Why do you care if people think you’re gay?

          • I don’t, but why do you care if I want people to know I’m straight either? I’m not going to discuss this any further as it’s upsetting me a shit load right now seeing as though I’ve always prided myself on being incredibly open-minded and non-judgmental. Food for thought: Most heterosexual guys wouldn’t dare post a compliment about a guy’s looks like the one I wrote at all due to feeling self-conscious, but feel free to criticize me some more.

          • Well, in all seriousness, I’m gay and I can honestly say that I’m not offended but I do understand why some people would find that offensive. It’s sort of like saying “no shade” and in that context, it’s as if you’re saying that being gay is wrong. But then again, since I do have a lot of straight friends, a lot of them do pride themselves of the fact that they’re, as you said “open-minded and non-judgmental.” In that context, the statement becomes somewhat of a pride badge or something. I’m not saying this to cause offense or anything. I just feel like it’s something that I need to say.

          • Michael_ – firstly I don’t care either way. Secondly, what a lot of people fail to realize (through no fault of their own) is that there exists a “straight assumption” – chances are people think you’re straight unless you tell them otherwise. That’s why homosexuals and other queer people have to come out of the closet: straight until proven gay essentially.

            It’s good that your open-minded, but to base any sort of pride on a comment that includes the term “no homo” – well you’re not winning any points with me. Not losing any, but not winning any either.

            And frankly, as a gay man (maybe you assumed I was straight, though not likely given the nature of this and the last comment I made) sometimes I get tired of patting straight guys on the back for being accepting of my lifestyle. In my mind it’s the equivalent of congratulating a teenager for being potty-trained and not shitting on the floor. At some point you have to accept the fact that these enlightened sensibilities are just the right thing to have.

            Maybe that doesn’t make sense, but I just woke up. Either way, I was criticizing your use of “no homo”, but not you as a person because I don’t know you as a person. I’m sure you’re a very sweet and nice guy.

          • I’m not going to get into this any further, but I will say that you don’t really know any details about my personal life or my upbringing to paint me as another straight guy making a “straight assumption” looking for a pat on the back for being open-minded. I’m so incredibly aware and well-versed in what gay people have to deal with socially because of their sexual orientation. It’s second nature to understand everything you’re saying above and unfair to stereotype me as some bumbling heterosexual trying to win brownie points. I’m not trying to be rude, but you’re calling out the wrong guy here and days later, I’m still angry over the reaction. I’ve had enlightened sensibilities nearly all of my life.

          • Stop saying “no homo” and maybe I’ll believe you. We’re clearly at an impasse – and I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. Such is life. Please don’t be upset by my opinion. I’m one sad lonely person that disagrees with you. I still respect your opinion as a person.

          • Michael_  |   Posted on Feb 7th, 2012 0

            I had to check to see if this was truly an issue, so I showed this to seven gay people I know and none of them had an issue with my use of “no homo.” Why you ask? Because they know that there’s not a single cell in my body that neither meant it as offensive nor phishing for a compliment, but rather speaking the language of an ironic, ill-conceived pop culture anecdote. A few even said they use it, tongue-in-cheek. I’m sorry but you don’t anything about me or my life, so stop trying to assign rules spoken on behalf of an entire community when I’ve first hand evidence from those within it think you’re seriously overreacting and — in one of their own words — “trying to make an example out of a straight man…. which in turn isn’t helping because it’s making it sound like we’re not equal.”

          • STRAIGHT GUILT IS SO HARD – seriously all I can say is we disagree.

            And I don’t know how many times I can agree with you that I don’t know you and I still respect our opinion, but as you keep saying things I’m starting to lose respect for that opinion because you seem to not be listening to what I’m saying.

            Making an example of? To whom, exactly? The stereogum commenters? They haven’t cared about this since people stopped talking about Bon Iver and Lana del Rey. You and I are probably the only ones actively commenting on this anymore.

          • Michael_  |   Posted on Feb 8th, 2012 -2

            I’ve no guilt and already apologized to anyone the original comment rubbed the wrong way (even though it wasn’t meant in bad spirits) a dozen comments ago. I do take serious issue with you saying “Stop saying ** **** and maybe I’ll believe you,” which in turn makes it seem like I’m not being sincere or that I continue to offend. You’re questioning my character and credibility, which is something I take very seriously and for someone who has made such a fuss about being offended by words, you’ve sure a great job at upsetting me and being absolutely narrow-minded.

          • You’re projecting. I’m sorry we disagree.

        • I should say, “I don’t care about your sexual orientation either way.” I do, in fact, care about this conversation.

  12. Talk about horrible, did you guys/girls actually watch the skits on SNL? I don’t think all the hostility towards LDR was truly warranted. I think there’s a lot hatin’ goin’ on here…

  13. Awesome to see Reggie Pace on the teevee (the trombonist/auxiliary percussionist/backup singer in Bon Iver). He’s a great musician in his own right and a cornerstone of the surprisingly happening Richmond, VA jazz scene.

  14. This incarnation of Bon Iver can be fantastic live, but I think sometimes all of the moving parts can make some songs messy. I thought Beth/Rest was like that..

    Loved them when they were touring the Blood Bank EP, they were tight as hell.

  15. Thank God this was mixed properly, I was so worried SNL would SNL the sound up, especially with all those instruments on stage.
    He should have played Towers instead of Beth/Rest though

  16. Geejuz. How many people are in that band? I’ve listened to bon iver for a few years but I guess I’ve never seen them live until now.

  17. Wow at those Beth/Rest drums. Awesome. Also love seeing Colin Stetson in that live band.

  18. Man, why they gotta diss Bubba Sparxxx?

  19. Who knew SNL would start doing serious interviews one day

  20. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • Right? What kind of moron can’t play two guitars, bass, sax, trumpet, synths, shakers, and percussion at the same time? Let’s face it, Vernon is a joke, guys.

      • There really are too many players on the field. Unless you are Brian Wilson trying to recreate Pet Sounds/Smile or have some special situation like Circulatory System and need to have more than one drummer so you can play in two different time signatures, the cutoff should be five people. Broken Social Scene set a bad example, and then everyone else decided they needed multiple maraca players too.

    • Last time I checked, it doesn’t take much talent to know how to use the caps lock either. Guess you proved them wrong, huh?

    • I don’t know why I should bother with this 2 day old thread, but don’t be stupid. If a larger band sounds good, then you use a larger band. If you think “there’s too many people on this stage” you’ve got weird issues. And also understand nothing about music, art, and life. These are insane ramblings. You know symphonies involve more than 9 parts, right? BSS set a bad example by doing what? Trying a different arrangement of instruments? That sounded fine? The notion that there should be a limit to arranging with no basis in actual musical rational thinking is batshit.

      • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

        • Maybe I’m reading it wrong, and this is sarcastic, but If this is your honest opinion, you are an idiot.

          Look, the reason lame music is lame has nothing to do with # of instruments/musicians. The reason lame music is lame is because it is lame.

          I’m not pulling any punches, this is the dumbest argument I’ve ever heard, honestly. On a music blog. Offensive. If you find the music boring, that’s totally reasonable and understandable. But if you think that there’s some correlation between the amount of players contributing to the sound created, and whether or not that sound is authentic/credible/cool/overwrought/whatever you have wasted everyone’s time with trying to make a really stupid point.

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

          • No matter how many words you rationalize an incorrect thing, you are still saying “My personal taste is fewer instruments”

            Overproduced is not the same as “number of instruments.” Adding more parts has nothing to do with synthesizing.

            As a personal example, I went to see my symphony orchestra perform Shostakovich this weekend. It was better and more beautiful (and probably more subversive, during it’s time) than anything done in minimalist music. Sure, that’s my personal opinion. Which is why suggesting there is some sort of universal appeal to fewer instruments, or more instruments, in an arrangement of musicians, is wrong. To see a lot of musicians and go “well this is just too much” before you’ve heard anything is silly. Do you think Choirs are overwrought? Brass sections? Mingus’ big bands? That was self-indulgent?

            You’re right, Styx and Toto and some of the really lame stuff from the 80s was lame…because the music was lame. Adding parts has nothing to do with the problem.

          • Okay, so I have to respond up here because Stereogum still hasn’t worked a major kink out of their comments section. Obviously you didn’t read what I typed very closely. Read the first sentence of my last post again. I really don’t care how many people perform jazz or classical compositions. That’s an altogether different thing; they often lend themselves to a more elaborate ensemble treatment and draw strength from it. That’s why in my last post I used words like “genres,” “rock,” and “folk.” By their very nature, rock and folk were always meant to be a more personal and raw form of expression. And by the way, having been in a pretty good chorus for years in middle school and high school, let me tell you, the few forays into rock were rather awkward.

          • I did read that point. I don’t see how you can fail to understand that sound does not adhere to rules of “Coolness” based on “numbers of things.” That rock is a personal thing has nothing to do with numbers. Nor Folk. Nor Punk. Nothing. Some great things are done by individuals in all forms. Some great things are done by massive groups in all forms. Talk about rock Bruce Springsteen has played with large groups on some of his best recordings. The hardcore band Cursive sound awesome with a brass section. Folk…come on, are you telling me that folk requires one person on stage to be successful? That writes off every large folk group with multiple acoustic guitars and percussionists.

            Your personal taste is not the same as what is capable of sounding good. It’s wrong. Just admit it’s your personal taste. You like things with less people because you like fewer people in stuff. That’s fine. It has nothing to do with Rawness or the capacity to express.

          • it’s called ‘taking the piss 101′ …sarcasm/truth/spite=’WEE!’ welcome to our world today. but on a serious note you don’t see radiohead needing 12 people, et cetera. though they did add that weird new drummer for live shows lately didn’t they?

  21. Bon Iver is not bad, but I find his music a bit boring. His stuff sounds dangerously close to Coldplay

  22. I really like what liz phair said about lana del ray

  23. Epic Sax Guy in the background at 4:46. Get trolled.

  24. Thanks guys for the shout out on the drum sounds…and the mix overall.

  25. Right! I said all good folk music involved one person onstage, and sure, my argument was all about coolness. Well, now you are just playing (I hope) dumb. I’m not wasting any more time on somebody with virtually no reading comprehension skills.

    • You pretty much did. You said Good Rock was Rooted in Minimalism. I don’t know what your history of rock music is, but if we’re talking about Elvis on a stage with a guitar, then that’s one person. Same goes for folk and woody guthrie. Also, you implied that Bon Iver playing with more musicians would lead to people liking Styx, and this somehow was a negative, which I’m assuming means you thin Styx is not cool. My comprehension skillz are awesome and I have TWO dicks.

      • In my first post, I say the cap should be five musicians (with some exceptions).

        • Why would there ever need to be a cap on the number of musicians in a band? Symphony orchestras around the world are disagreeing with you right now.

          All that matters is that they’re contributing something to the sound mix, rather than creating a cacophonous racket (although some people love that, too). This live version of Bon Iver is one of the best examples of that concept that I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen A LOT of live music). You can hear (and see) what sounds each player is contributing to the songs. And their harmonies are beautiful, as well.

          • Go back. READ. My comments had everything to do with rock and folk bands and nothing to do with any other genre of music.

          • I would like to go back to my original post then and reiterate that the suggestion there should be some sort of limit to the number of pieces in a band in any genre anywhere is stupid. I won’t even address it anymore. Good luck! There is literally no way I would agree to that point in a million years for any reason. I still don’t even understand WHY there would be a cap. Because some groups who were lame used a lot of parts? They ruined it for everyone else? What is the point. MAKE A POINT.

          • Look right above. READ. My second paragraph clearly addresses that.

  26. bone e-vare sooks a-lot.

  27. Carson Daly is right. That Bon Iver song does sound like Mike and the Mechanics.

  28. Elyse Howdershell  |   Posted on Mar 17th, 2012 0

    I love this episode:) Is anyone else psyched to see Bon Iver & Dry The River at Sasquatch? The summer can’t come fast least I have the internet to keep me busy:)

    Check out this Dry The River vid:

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