Photos: Bon Iver at Sydney Opera House


Bon Iver played his Cercle show over four nights as part of the Vivid Live Festival at Sydney Opera House. We were there on Friday and Saturday night to see the iconic American artist’s mesmerising performances in the round.

With a huge circle of hanging threads overhead, the stage set-up included a choir of three female backing vocalists, two drum kits, a marimba, two pianos and two guitarists who also swapped to play saxophone and double bass. All the while Justin Vernon sat in the middle, drenched in amazing lighting, playing mostly acoustic but sometimes electric guitar, as well as piano.

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The setlist featured a two-hour selection of his own work as well as tunes from his bands’ various projects. Highlights included Creature Fear and Holocene, while at one point during Skinny Love he showcased his astonishing vocal with no instrumentation.

Bon Iver hasn’t released an album in five years, which made this wonderful show very nostalgic. We’ll wait to see whether this leads to some new material being delivered.

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Jayne Cheeseman

Photos by Adam Davis-Powell. Words by Jayne Cheeseman.