Is Justin Vernon the least likely front man in modern indie rock? A slightly overweight, prematurely balding loner with absolutely zero desire for fame that regularly rocks a beard that would make Ted Kacyzinski proud. He broke up with his old band so he spent 3 months holed up in the woods in North Carolina (which wound up producing the best folk album of the 2000s so it was a win). Yet, Bon Iver remains one of the most intriguing acts of the last five years. While I prefer his/their (it’s complicated) debut, For Emma, Forever Ago, to their more recent self-titled, both albums are pretty phenomenal and the more I listen to Bon Iver, the more it grows on me. Bon Iver was the final act that I saw at this year’s Bonnaroo, and not only were they the best act of the weekend, they are easily the single greatest concert I’ve ever been to (even edging out the wonderful Jonathan Coulton/They Might Be Giants show at T5). I was in the front row for the show, and it was almost a religious experience. After about the third song, nearly every person in the front three rows was in open and unashamed tears because of how beautiful Justin Vernon and crew’s set was. It’s hard to pick one song from the set as the most beautiful so I’ll wimp out and pick my favorite song from his newest album (which also had me crying the most out of all of the songs in the set). It’s “Towers” and it’s got an equally beautiful music video to go with the gorgeous sonic folk.

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