Bon Iver: Post-Show High

It’s been two days since I saw Bon Iver at the Orpheum. I keep listening to the albums over and over again, hoping that I won’t forget the post-show high that I am in right now. Post-show highs are unbelievable. You’re walking around with that stupid slap-happy grin and you kind of wanna have a “Buddy The Elf” moment and scream “I’m in love! I’m in love! And I don’t care who knows it!!!!”

I may argue that the Post-Bon-Iver-Show High (as I’m calling it) could be better than being in love. For those of you who attended, you may agree

Seeing Bon Iver for the first time in person was an experience I have dreamed about. Bon Iver is one of my all-time favorite artists and finally getting to see Justin Vernon in all his glory was even more beautiful than I had dreamed it to be. I adore Bon Iver for deep, emotional reasons. Attempting to describe them here will probably give you some insight into my soul…so read on with caution.

                       I am a lyrics fiend. (See future post: My Dream Job Part 2 – a Lyricist). I can’t appreciate a song unless I can appreciate the lyrics (not to discriminate against some select instrumental songs that get my juices going). But in general, lyrics do it for me. Mainly because I love singing along. One of my favorite lyricist is Taylor Swift (no shame, you haters gonna hate). What right-minded individual does not love her words? I can relate to her songs every day of my life. She understands me. “My stupid boyfriend broke up with me. I am a sad heap all alone on the floor. I ate 19 cheeseburgers to solve my problems. Now my Daddy is gonna go after him and hurt him.” I mean, really, who hasn’t felt that way before? Really. The predictability of her lyrics don’t make the emotions any less real or true. T-Swift always has my back. (Please note, quoted lyrics are not an actual song, but a summary of most of her song content. You get it.)
            On the opposite end of the lyrical spectrum lives Bon Iver. I love Justin Vernon’s lyrics probably because they lack the literal completely. When I look up his lyrics, I wonder if they are even in English. Little known fact – Justin Vernon actually makes up words to compliment the sound or tone he is going for.
                I may very rarely understand any of his lyrics. But I feel them. I feel them in the every square inch of my heart. I read his words, hear his words, and I feel safe. But not the conventional safe, like in my mother’s arms. The kind of safe that even though everything around is beyond comprehension – even though things are spinning out of control and I am lost and confused and inherently alone – that things are okay. It’s not even a hopeful safe – the kind where you know everything will work out. Instead, its the kind of safe that even though things will not work out, you will be okay. There can be joy in the chaos, and there can be laughter in the tears, and you won’t understand any of it, but things will be okay and as they should be. 
                Bon Iver is the artist I play when I can’t sleep at night. I play Bon Iver when I am on a run and can’t seem to go any farther. I listen to Bon Iver before exams to calm my anxiety. I play Bon Iver when I am utterly depressed, in my room, head in hands, fearing everything I have to do in life. I play Bon Iver when I am getting ready go out with friends. I play Bon Iver when I am cooking and feeling compete joy. I play Bon Iver when I feel that life is pretty sub-par and uneventful. There are very few emotions that I do not feel in the course of 24 hours. And Bon Iver has a song for every one of those emotions.

                   I walked away from the show feeling like part of me had been found. I don’t care how cheesy and corny that is, and I don’t care that there are very few people on the planet that probably feel this way about some obscure musical artist that they have never met. But I can honestly say that I love Bon Iver. With all this love to give the world, why not devote some of it to such a talented group? What’s wrong with giving love anyway?

Moral of the story: Give more love than you should. And get yourself to a Bon Iver show.

About Melissa Faulkner

1. If I blog, someone will eventually discover me. 2. If someone eventually discovers me, I will become rich and famous. 3. If I blog, I will become rich and famous. Follow me for shorter, daily doses! @melisslyss
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One Response to Bon Iver: Post-Show High

  1. AndyB says:

    Hey Melissa. Your paragraph here about JV’s lyrics and feeling “safe” actually made me understand something about Bon Iver that I’ve been trying to figure out for quite a while. You articulated something I think is really central to the appeal of their music. Safety amid trouble. Good work, kid. Keep it up. I like your blog and I like your perspective.

    take care, andy

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