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Celebrate Brooklyn continued its successful series with a sold out concert by popular Bon Iver, on August 10.
The annual summer performing arts festival hosts a variety of outdoor music concerts, dance performances, and movies, all taking place in the Prospect Park Bandshell. Fans lined up in the late afternoon hours to catch Bon Iver’s performance.
While ticket holders filled up the packed concert area, hundreds of others brought blankets and picnicked in the park while listening to Bon Iver’s music. New Yorkers waited patiently for the Wisconsin band to begin the night of outdoor music.
Front man Justin Vernon, known for his folk sound, created the band in 2007. The band’s first album, entitled For Emma, Forever Ago, was created while Vernon spent months in seclusion, tucked away in a log cabin in Wisconsin. The rise of this first album has brought international recognition for the indie band, certifying the album to be gold in Denmark, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
Just released in June of 2011, Bon Iver’s second album is a self-titled compilation of 10 songs that move their music in a new direction while still holding claim to their famous indie flavor.
Kicking off the evening of music was opening band The Rosebuds. Sharing in Bon Iver’s indie style, the Raleigh, North Carolina band was welcomed to Brooklyn with much appreciation. The band has a close relationship with Bon Iver that has grown since 2007.
Justin Vernon, close friend of The Rosebuds, helped record their latest album and made an appearance during their set, accompanying them on vocals and guitar. The Rosebuds were able to energize the crowd with catchy songs and were a solid start to the main event.
As Vernon and the band walked onto the stage, fans erupted in applause as the atmosphere of the park turned to excitement. The Prospect Park Bandshell lit up with orchestrated lighting as the nine member band began serenading concert goers throughout the evening hours.
Bon Iver dived into their first song, “Perth”, capturing the attention of music lovers in the park. The band went into other popular songs such as “Minnesota, WI,” “Towers,” and “Creature Fear.” When it was time for them to perform “Beach Baby,” Justin Vernon explained that the song was for the memories of having a crush on someone and wanting to kiss them on the beach, but never having the chance to.
During the concert, Vernon took time to show his appreciation to the audience. The band gathered up large applause from the viewers when Vernon said that this concert was by far the biggest show they had ever played. With a cloudless sky and the moon shining down on the Brooklyn stage, Bon Iver produced a captivating and meaningful performance for fans to enjoy.
As audience members watched the performance, some danced to the beats of the music, while others scattered in groups across the grass, dining with homemade dinners and enjoying the outdoors.
For one night, the often hectic lifestyle in Brooklyn slowed down for a relaxing evening under the stars, listening to the indie songs of Bon Iver. The melodic tunes of the set list continued as the band played “Blood Bank”, “Flume”, and ending with “Beth/Rest”.
As the show wrapped up, concert goers cheered and brought back Bon Iver for an encore. The band performed “Skinny Love”, as well as a cover of the Bjork song “Who Is It”. After the encore finished groups of audience members filed out of the park.
But for the loyal fans that stayed just a bit longer, Bon Iver came back on stage for a second encore, where they performed their last song, “For Emma”. The remnants of a good concert lingered in the atmosphere as people packed up their picnics and headed home, leaving memories of a summer night in Brooklyn spent with the Rosebuds and Bon Iver.