Thursday, October 01, 2009

Bon Iver at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

When I saw the concert info hit the newswire, I couldn't fumble my credit card out of my wallet fast enough. Bon Iver playing a 6am sunrise show on Sunday, with doors opening the night before at midnight. In a cemetery.

Concert-goers were welcome to come and camp on the cemetery lawn (not on grave sites) with food & drink and stay up with the various media provided; Planet Earth video loops, background DJ music and a screening of the film Bottle Rocket at 2am. All for $25.

I packed the Xtracycle full of pillows, blankets, fleece, a thermos full of hot coffee and a bottle of Kahlua. We claimed our spot in front of the sound techs for a dead-center view and unpacked our take-out dinner at 1:00am.

Planet Earth

The coffee helped as the fog settled in and dew began to coat everything with moisture. About halfway through the film, somewhere around 3am I passed out, surrounded by strangers.

mid-night coffee stand

Bedtime views

At around 5:30am I woke up to an unfamiliar sound.  They had brought in a group of Buddhist monks to chant a prayer for the living (us) and for the non (everyone else).  What a bizarre, fantastic way to enter the day.

Justin aka Bon Iver took the stage at 6 as billed. Still dark out. He eased into his set with a mellow tune or two but the mellowness didn't last long. He then tore into the rest of his set list at full-amp with his 3 bandmates.  Electric guitars ripping, drums pounded. Wake up neighbors! Awesome.

Kicking things off

Later, Justin on keys

Touring mates Megafaun came and sat in on a little bluegrass number called "Ease your worried mind"

Standing O

Haulin' bodies

I'll end with footage of the band doing the first song at dark-thirty - "Flume" (dig the fog!)