Belfast Telegraph

Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon delights crowd at close of All Points East festival

Lead singer Justin Vernon dipped into some of the band’s older tracks on the main stage at Victoria Park in east London.

Bon Iver at All Points East in London (Alex Green/PA)
Bon Iver at All Points East in London (Alex Green/PA)

Bon Iver closed All Points East festival on Sunday night, delivering a set of whispered melodies and electronica-tinged balladry.

Justin Vernon, the lead singer and driving force behind the band, sang from behind a bank of synthesisers and backed by two drummers.

The Strokes, Mumford & Sons and The Chemical Brothers were among the acts to grace the main stage at Victoria Park in east London over the past two weeks.

Earlier on in the night, Canadian rock-and-roller Mac DeMarco closed the festival’s second stage, paying tribute to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, telling the crowd: “Jeremy, this one’s for you.”

But it fell to Vernon’s dusty melodies, introspective lyrics and famously sparse instrumentation to bring the event to a close.

Any fears the US artist’s folk balladry would fail to hold the attention of the easily distracted London crowd were soon quelled.

He performed wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the word “Discwoman” – the name of a New York collective of feminist techno DJs.

The performance saw Vernon dip into his 2016 album 22, A Million as well as older tracks such as Blood Bank and Skinny Love.

Halfway through his set, he made his only mistake of the night, fluffing the introduction to fan favourite Woods.

“F***. You’re going to have to ask for your money back,” he said, laughing.

But restarting, he was met with cheers and whoops from the crowd.

Audience members briefly reached for their umbrellas as the clouds threatened rain.

But soon the sky cleared revealing a hazy city vista – a fitting counterpoint to Bon Iver’s lush sounds.

The 38-year-old finished by leaving the stage as a suite of songs from his new untitled album played, including a track called Hey, Ma.

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