Watch Justin Vernon & Aaron Dessner’s Full Big Red Machine Set At Eaux Claires
Way back in 2009, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and the National’s Aaron Dessner teamed up on “Big Red Machine,” a track off of the great Red Hot charity compilation album Dark Was The Night. Since then, the two musicians have continued to collaborate on all sorts of things, including co-founding the Eaux Claires music festival in Vernon’s Eau Claire, Wisconsin hometown. They performed together under the name Big Red Machine for the first time at last year’s Eaux Claires festival, and last month, when they launched the PEOPLE collective and music publishing platform, they returned to the Big Red Machine project with four brand new tracks.
Those four new tracks, “Gratitude,” “Hymnostic,” “Lyla,” and “Forest Green,” finally became available on standard streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube yesterday. In a recent interview, Vernon and Dessner confirmed that the songs are part of a forthcoming full-length Big Red Machine album. “We have a 10-song record that we’ll be spraying out throughout the rest of the summer,” Vernon said. “We just wanted to put something up in the player for now.” And last night, at the 2018 edition of their Eaux Claires festival, they performed some of that album.
Eaux Claires 2018 officially kicked off yesterday, and the entire lineup was kept secret until the festival gates opened. But as it turned out, Vernon and Dessner and a bunch of friends — including Bryce Dessner, Bradley Cook, JT Bates, Gordi, Julien Baker, Richard Reed Parry, Ben Lanz, and Kyle Resnick — played a full, nearly hour-long set of new Big Red Machine material at the round Flambeaux stage, and at least one fan was on hand to capture the performance on video. And now, thanks to that fan, you can watch the entire set below.