All Songs Considered Blog
4:38 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Frank Ocean And Bon Iver Surprise Lucky NYC Fans

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 10:54 am

Last night, two of today's most recognizable voices lifted the rafters of a glorious synagogue on New York's Lower East Side. The surprise show was announced with just about 12 hours notice, and lucky fans who answered an RSVP quickly filled the venue's few hundred spots.

Frank Ocean opened the night. His touring group is a sparse four-piece band and its restrained yet solid-in-the-pocket sound puts Ocean's voice front and center, just where it belongs. A few years ago, Bon Iver was so much about Justin Vernon's voice. Today, the band is a very different story, complex and dense sounding with Vernon only a part of a larger force.

The show was part of a series of concerts organized by The Fader and Vitaminwater which puts two theoretically different artists on the same stage on the same night — they play back to back sets, but don't collaborate. I walked away delighted to hear Bon Iver's last U.S. show for at least a while and happy to hear Frank Ocean for a third time on this tour, but was disappointed not to see the two headband-wearing performers on the same stage at the same time. We came so close to making a special evening the spark of something bigger. One can only hope.

Photographer, Ryan Muir, was able to capture the intimacy and majesty of the show. See some of our favorite pictures here and browse more at our Facebook page.

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