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 youtube.com 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.