After years of being my little sister’s ticket bitch, she finally came good. And when I say good, I mean “Holy Crap! That’s the best gig I’ve been to in my life. Ever. Full stop.” The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of talented should be accompanied by a photo of Justin Vernon. The Sydney Festival is over for another year and this show was definitely my highlight (thank you, Catherine).
For Emma, Forever Ago was born from three months of self-imposed isolation in a log cabin somewhere in the bitter winter of Wisconsin. The entire album was created by Vernon, from the writing, singing and instrumentation to the recording and production. Amazing. The complexities of the record, however, cannot be performed by one man alone, as brilliant as Vernon may be. For the last twelve months, he has been joined on stage by Mike Noyce, Sean Carey and Matthew McCaughan. Yes, the album is breathtaking, but it is only Mars compared to the Venus of a live show they put on. The Angel Place Recital Hall was the perfect setting for a gig that had the crowd transfixed during every single song and gagging for more at the end. There was no fancy stage setup and definitely no laserZ, just four flannel-clad guys, totally lush falsettos, seventeen instruments and some epically full sound.
And to think I almost missed out on tickets. What a fool I was! I shall never make that mistake again, oh no. So, while Vernon and the rest of the band are probably more than settled back into Wisconsin living now, when they’re in your neighbourhood again, do as I say: Go. To. The. Show!
Oh and here are some free downloads. Enjoy and remember to breathe.