So many things go right at Bon Iver Sunrise Concert

Special Guest Bloggers Ian Chili & Erin Gogger cover the Bon Iver Sunrise Concert at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (9.27.09)

At 6:04 am I received this text from an East Coast friend: “You live the most random life.” This was of course after I told her that Buddhist Monks were blessing me as I sat in a cemetery. Yeah it was random, and it was very LA, but it was also one of the best things that I have ever done. For those of you who were not lucky enough to get tickets I would hate to say you didn’t miss anything, but ya did. -Erin

It’s not very often that the perfectly advertised evening goes perfectly as advertised. I was psyched for this concert from the moment I read about it in my friend’s Facebook status update. I ended up hanging with people I knew, but not intimately. At least not in a “let’s hang out in a cemetery, drink and smoke” kinda way. But it didn’t matter. This night was about experiencing something new. – Ian

Justin Vernon, tried his best to mastermind the evenings’ events as to maximize his morning performance, but he got an assist when Mother Nature decided to add her two cents to an already eventful evening. The gates opened at midnight and shortly after a DJ set composed by Mr. Vernon himself either lulled you to sleep amongst the others taking their eternal rests or primed you for what would be a night you would not soon forget. The fog rolled in at 0 dark 30, right after the screening of Bottlerocket, during the second DJ set and shortly before the moment I realized I needed to start drinking water (for the record, the latter never actually happened but should have…the discount beer from Trader Joe’s and red bull vodkas were just hitting the spot).

The next 2 hours were spent discussing what to do for the next 2 hours, getting more alcohol and finding inventive ways to drink it. The final solution was Asshole. We ended up telling more stories than playing cards, but we somehow managed to drink just as much with every story ending in a social. We also managed to make our way through the mist to the port-a-potties, glo sticks and bird calls were involved, and if you had forgotten for some reason that you were in a cemetery the security guard yelling please keep off of the headstones, brought it right back to you.

At 5:30ish Buddhist Monks came to bless the crowd and the stage. At first we thought that this was going to be weird, and the kung fu jokes began, but after a few minutes their chanting just mesmerized us and set the stage perfectly for Bon Iver. At this point, we had an overwhelming sense of accomplishment though we were too far gone to know what we actually did. It wasn’t til B.I. was setting up that it finally hit us. All that matters is that we’re here.

The concert was flawless. There was a special appearance by Justin’s old band Megafaun and Bon Iver perfectly delivered every song in their repertoire; the sun came up as best as it could with the marine layer blanketing us and everyone finally got a chance to see who had been camping around them the whole night. It was a sea of flannel, American Apparel hoodies and beanies in case you were wondering. As we headed for the exits, the only thing left on anybody’s mind was a pillow. Or perhaps a bloody mary, depends on whom you talk to. (We get 500 BLOG points for using “whom” correctly!)

You can try to recapture the magic on if you want. Videos are already popping up. I’ve watched a half of one and it’s hard to capture the scope of the event on a crappy video camera from the back row. Luckily our friend Cam took some pictures.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes @ the El Rey 9.22.09

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes were everything we expected and wanted their show to be. The nearly dozen strong band had such zeal for each song and the crowd could not have encouraged them more. The El Rey was packed and the energy high.

Lead singer Alex Ebert, in his classic white jeans, jumped and danced around the stage, his voice unfaltered. Jade Castrinos was absolutely adorable and had a childlike excitement for every song. The band as a whole moved around the stage with ease and excitement while being orchestrated by Ebert.

After the encore and the band clearly wanted to call it a night, Ebert did not want to leave the stage. Nico (the guitarist) came back out on stage for “Brother.”

The posse were closing their first tour and happy to be back home in Los Angeles. There was even an onstage proposal (not within the band)! It was a superb homecoming!

The LA Ladies Choir opened

Mayer Hawthorne @ the Roxy 9.10.09

Mayer Hawthorne swooned as at his record release party. It was an Ann Harbor invasion with most of his band hailing from the area - all mighty fine musicians.


The audience was amped up - like a flock of vampire victims under the influence of a maenad! And no, not because the opening band had a drummer who wore loose, grey sweatpants where you could see his junk whirling around. Maybe because some caught the noon show at Third Man Records pop-up store at the Regent Theatre. Either way, no matter how many times one sees Jack White, Allison Mosshart, Dean Fertita and Jack Lawrence on stage, their addiction worsens...

First time at The Mayan; the venue looks like the set of Nickolodeon's "Legends of the Hidden Temple." We parked upstairs behind the sound booth for the best view, then headed to the floor for the 3-song encore where Jack White proposed, "Is music in L.A. alive and well? Or are you just EMI employees and shit?" A little bit of both...

Our first time seeing The Dead Weather was a couple months ago at The Roxy. This show amped up the lighting and heavy guitar, even some dramatic acting on behalf of Jack and Allison who violently shoved one another and were egged on by the crowd to kiss, right before their sultry duet of "Will There Be Enough Water."

The humble ending to this hot-ass rock & roll show was when the band joins hands and thanks the audience. We appreciate musicians who are also humble.

One day I will take the band down as my screen saver, but not any time soon.


The line was down the street for the opening band, Band of Skulls, who have recently gained loads of popularity due to the vocal duelings of Emma Richardson and Russell Marsden. (A mention as "band to watch" in Entertainment Weekly and Vanity Fair, and an exclusive song in the upcoming soundtrack to New Moon). Richardson has been compared to Karen O and Patti Smith, and keeps getting better as the band plays around town.

Leila Moss, lead singer of The Duke Spirit, kept the energy going with songs like "Into The Fold" and "The Step and the Walk." She jumped barefoot on stage with a sparkly top and leather mini-shorts. Those who did not attend the Mew show at the Troubadour were all at the El Rey to support both Shangri-La Records bands (kudos to the label for throwing a free after party at HMS Bounty). Overall it was a fun concert-going experience.