Volcano Choir makes final stop in Schofield


Senior Max Docksey has been a Justin Vernon fan since he first heard Vernon play around a campfire as a counselor for Camp Manitou when he was 8 years old. Docksey said he has followed Vernon’s career from Mount Vernon all the way up to Volcano Choir.

“I think everything he has ever done is pretty amazing,” Docksey said. “I think most of his fans are pretty loyal in that aspect.”

Sunday’s Volcano Choir concert in Schofield Auditorium was no exception to his appreciation of Vernon’s work. Docksey, from Eau Claire, said it was special seeing the local legend back on a UW-Eau Claire stage.

As the band played, sending waves and nods of recognition to faces in the crowd, the artists could not contain their glee for performing on familiar soil with a hometown appreciation.

The band played two gigs, Saturday and Sunday evening, each selling out the 600 seat auditorium.
Event Production Coordinator Jason Anderson said the band was looking for a specific atmosphere when location of the concert was first decided.

“Based on just the type of feel the band thought the album would have, they felt that Schofield would be the best for them in the sense that it was small, it was intimate,” Anderson said, “It was the closest club type feel that they had done.”

The space filled those requirements. The vibrant greens, reds and blues reflected off the knit mountainous backdrop while still highlighting the six men on the small stage.

Vernon, lead vocals, stood center-right with fellow members Thomas Wincek, Daniel Spack, Chris Rosenau, Jim Schoenecker and Jon Mueller.

The band was promoting their new CD, “Repave,” which was Vernon’s first album with Volcano Choir. A set of songs with a “nautical theme,” Vernon said during the show, features top songs like “Byegone,” “Almanac,” “Acetone” and “Comrade.”

Some songs feature Vernon’s signature falsetto, while still dipping into some lower octaves.
Senior Kate Beaton, a fan of Vernon, attended Saturday’s show. She said the band sounded similar to Bon Iver at points — a similarity she enjoyed.

“I mostly purchased the ticket because it had Justin Vernon’s name associated with it,” Beaton said. “I knew it would be good because he is good.”

Docksey said Volcano Choir was a great combination of the falsetto associated with Bon Iver, while bringing someone new to the stage as well.

“I think everyone can find a song they relate to in (“Repave”),” Docksey said. “There is some quiet stuff for people who are looking for the Bon Iver aspect out of it, but they also do a lot of awesome things with ‘Byegone,’ ‘Comrade’ and ‘Dancepack’ in my opinion.”

Anderson said Volcano Choir came to the university in the beginning stages of tour planning because the band wanted to make the stop a priority. Anderson said the university was extremely pleased with the response received from the community.

“The shows themselves from band members and production, their quote was literally ‘it was sprinkled with dust of magic,’” Anderson said. “They felt it was the best show they had in their entire tour and a nice way to wrap up the U.S.”