Some (very astute) readers may recognise the title of this post as a line from Bon Iver’s Skinny Love – it’s a song which Stacey and I listened to a lot at the start of our relationship, and one that we’re both very fond of. That’s why I was so happy when Stacey bought me tickets to see Bon Iver in Glasgow for my birthday.
I need to preface my gushing about how amazing the gig was by saying that Stacey has been absolutely amazing on an otherwise stressful weekend. We noticed on Friday evening that our fridge wasn’t very cold, and changing the temperature settings wasn’t having any impact… Come Saturday morning, our milk is spoilt and our freezer (and around £100’s worth of food) is starting to thaw. Suffice to say, I was incredibly stressed. After a call to our landlord and some frantic online searches for a cheap temporary freezer, Stacey managed to get our local pub to agree to put the majority of our frozen stuff in their freezer! She is absolutely fantastic and I don’t know how I’d cope without her when I’m getting stressed out.
Anyway; after a long nap and a long hot shower, I finally managed to start getting excited about the gig. Bon Iver has always been a favourite band of Stacey and I. That’s at least partly because when we first got together, we were both living in little shared houses in St Andrews. I spent vast amounts of my time at Stacey’s little flat – particularly in January 2010, when I was trying to write and polish my dissertation and didn’t want to work on my own. We’d be sat in her room, with Stacey sat on her desktop, playing me music that I’d never heard before, and me on my laptop on her bed, wrestling with what I called ‘the dissertation monster’.
So for a long time, the first Bon Iver album (For Emma, Forever Ago) was something which always took me back to that time; the beginning days of our relationship, so new and exciting – counteracted with the craziness of my last semester at university and degree worries. When Bon Iver’s self titled album as released last year, songs such as Holocene and Calgary immediately became firm favourites. And they were even better live.
The gig last night was at Glasgow’s SECC, and it was the first time I’d been to the venue. It was HUGE, and the acoustics were brilliant – but as a venue, it suffers from all of the same issues that large venues do; expensive drinks, warm beer and big crowds. However, it was a great all round experience. The support band were The Staves; a wonderful trio of girls with a touch of Laura Marling and brilliant harmonies, and warmed the crowd up well before the main show.
The Bon Iver show really was super impressive. From the lights and projection which lit the stage, and changed with the tone of each song – to the live video of the musicians playing shown either side of the stage, it was unlike any show I’ve seen before. Justin Vernon sings in a haunting, striking fashion and the gig was always going to be emotional – but I didn’t expect it to be as touching as it was. Hearing Skinny Love live was absolutely a highlight.
I can’t really explain how much I enjoyed last night (despite the absolute crush of the crowd making me a little claustrophobic) and how grateful I am to have a girlfriend who buys me gifts that are so thoughtful and exciting. I can’t wait for Christmas, so that I can thank Stacey for all of the amazing things she’s done for me recently.Carley