Half way through the first concert of the upcoming tour, Justin Vernon, primary songwriter and frontman for Bon Iver, thanked the Indigo Girls for opening the show at the Kettlehouse Amphitheatre.
“When I first heard their music, I learned how to be a human being,” he said.
The Indigo Girls trace their musical roots to the mid-1980s in Atlanta, rising to prominence with the 1989 release of “Closer To Fine.” They played the song to close their set in Missoula.
Perhaps Vernon remembered the lyrics, how there’s “more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line,” when he praised the two icons of the LGBTQ community.
The sun had set and the late August evening had settled over Missoula when Bon Iver hit the stage. The balmy temperatures marked a welcome contrast to his rainy concert last may when he play the inaugural concert at the Kettlehouse.
This time around, the stage set formed a series of lite triangles. It wasn’t obvious that Vernon was the frontman. He shared the stage equally with the other musicians, something to appreciate in this business.
The lighting was perfectly choreographed to the songs, each heavy with bass, effects and drums toned down to reflect the sound from the first few albums. The sold out crowd was there to hear it all and it was treated by the band, which “started the tour out with the right vibe,” energized by having spent the previous three days in western Montana.
Follow this link for more photos of the concert.