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Back On Stages

Bon Iver

I had just spent all day walking aimlessly around Fisherman’s Wharf to
Chinatown helping the hands of tourist friends. I was with them but in
my head I was gone, not because the friends were not interesting, but
all I could think about was the show that night. There was this
overwhelming desire to be alone, to walk ahead, to stand waiting at
various boutiques. Perhaps, it came off as a little anti-social or
reaching boredom, but truly I just wanted some air, room to focus; to
process how the night will go.

As we arrived there definitely was something different about this
particular show (a room full of anticipation, a crowd curious to know
how the album and horrible Youtube clippings of Bon Iver will
translate on stage). The venue was sold out by the time Bon Iver came
on, the room was dead silent and Justin Vernon, the main dude,
positioned himself on the corner of the stage.

I made my way to that
corner, getting as close as I can. I remember conversing with a few
people around me to get a feel for what and why people were here, but
their stories came out in a blur. I was locked, completely focused.
All I wanted was the night: the musicians and the songs.

Bliss, Bliss. Words can’t fully capture the feeling; the intensity
(not even these pictures) of a great live performance. Yes, pictures
are great, it captures a moment, but it is purely a taste; a fragment
of an experience.

A show like this must be felt, must be heard, must
be witnessed. His songs, my God, his songs hit like a car crash, jolt at
the core, adrenaline pulsing at the touch, goose-bumps being lifted.
The audience came like a flood, 50 minutes later, the show was over,
the crowd dissipates.

I had a hard time sleeping that night: Curious to know how the footage
turned out; curious to know if I captured the music truthfully
(without pretense, without thinking, with emotion, with knowledge)?
Shocked to witness and be part of one of the greatest shows I’ve seen
in a while… And at the end he finished his set with Re: Stacks. I
stopped in the middle of recording. Time had stop. Something magical
had happened, and I still can’t figure out what it was.

It was nice to finally meet Justin. A warm and easy going Justin. He
probably has no idea that he’s part of something bigger, no idea…
Then I rested.

Nate Chan