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Review: Long way from cabin in woods

JUSTIN Vernon broke Twitter last night. Well, he didn't actually break it -- dude just got everyone talking, is all. Yep, Vernon declared the end of Bon Iver live on stage in Dublin. Something about them playing their very last show ... on this tour.

But here's the thing -- the big hairy giant from Wisconsin forgot to include that last part. And whaddaya know? Twitter exploded. Babies cried. Grown men shaved their beards in protest. And what did Vernon do to stop this madness? Nothing, of course. After all, he and his boys have made a habit of surprising their fans.

For example, this is a band that used to be a weepy, one-man project -- and quite a powerful one at that. And then things got bigger. Vernon even made friends with Kanye West (which might explain the chap's new and unwelcoming fascination with Auto-Tune).

These days, the group reckons it has what it takes to be the next Arcade Fire (there are nine of them now). And what does it say about an indie rock outfit that can fill a venue as large as the O2 with very little advertising? It says Vernon is a long way from that famous cabin in the woods, that's what.



laughable

They'll get their rock on (Blood Bank). They'll even tear your heart out (the gorgeous re: Stacks). Occasionally, they'll make a mess of things (the laughable Beth/Rest is a complete disaster of a tune).

Indeed, Bon Iver: The Arena Show scales some extraordinary heights, but it doesn't always work out.

Sure, it's a loud and fairly solid presentation of stimulating sounds and imagery, and there's a lot more variety on offer, too.

But you'd miss things the way they used to be, back when Vernon didn't need an oversized band or clever visuals to keep us entertained.

It used to be all about the voice. Now, Vernon is just the leader of a rock band. Granted, this might have made for an incredible club gig -- the perfect signing off. At best, it was a decent enough arena bash.

And, besides, they're just taking a break -- we wouldn't want Twitter to spiral out of control again now, would we?



3/5


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