Justin Vernon’s third Bon Iver album is a weird and wonderful thing
Boston City Hall
There is no place like home...
Then of course they've started shedding members. Is it about time to shave a 'Mighty' off the name? The estimated 40,000 thousand fans that have gathered outside City Hall to see their hometown heroes throw down a free show don't seem to think so.
When Bosstones' Dicky Barrett sings, "It's not where you come from, it's more where you're going", he's got it backwards. It's all about Boston tonight and the first time Barrett declares his home the greatest city on earth, he manages it without sounding like he's trying to sell a used-car.
The local boy-done good routine gets a little old the second time around. He manages to right himself when he (we hope) jokingly quotes Bostonian 'legend' Peter Wolf of the J Geils Band, asking the crowd, "How we doing on the left side?"
More pep-rallied pride comes when the band plays the tourist and out-of-state student-bashing, 'They Came To Boston' and cash in on the New York/Boston rivalry by leading an obligatory 'Yankees suck' chant. Barrett even drags the mayor out mid-song for an awkward moment of non-dancing. Cheap? Maybe. Effective? Definitely.
Despite this being the first stop on their North American tour, the Bosstones stay suspiciously old-school. They toe the line of nostalgia, bouncing between deeper cuts like 'I Hope I Never Lose My Wallet' and 'Cowboy Coffee' and older feel-good hits like 'Where'd You Go?'.
The horn section, which has always kept the band from being another hard-core band, manages to keep even the middle-aged gawkers' heads bopping. 'The Impression That I Get' manages to rile everyone equally before in true homecoming style, founding guitarist Nate Alberts returns for the punkiest moment of the night, a tear through the title track to their first album 'Devil's Night Out'.
They end by thrashing a cover of the Angry Samoans' 'Lights Out', and as they leave home to try to convince the rest of the world to 'Pay Attention' we can be assured that the mighty haven't fallen yet. Then again, there is no place like home.
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