Bon Iver to play Tammy Baldwin fundraiser in Madison

Baldwin, Chris Rosenau, and Bon Iver will visit The Sylvee together on October 20.

Declaring “This is the hippest I’ve ever felt,” U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin announced on Friday that Wisconsin’s own Bon Iver and Chris Rosenau will play on October 20 rally and fundraiser for Baldwin’s reelection campaign. Tickets are on sale through ActBlue, and the event will take place at the newly opened 2,500 capacity venue The Sylvee. An announcement flyer for the event even mixes in some of Bon Iver’s penchant for choppy typography.

It’s never quite clear how long of a set or what kind of configuration to expect at these sorts of things, but it’ll be the first Bon Iver performance in the Madison area in quite a few years. And Justin Vernon’s project has swerved through plenty of sonic evolutions and lineup changes, as captured on the 2016 album 22, A Million. Vernon, of course, has been very visible in the 2018 election cycle: He endorsed Madison’s Kelda Helen Roys in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, and Bon Iver manager signed up to challenge Sean Duffy in northern Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional district before dropping out of the race in May.


Rosenau, who has played with Vernon in the Volcano Choir project, has a long history of crafting rhythmically complex, guitar-centered rock in the bands Collections Of Colonies Of Bees and Pele. Chances are his solo set here will be just as compelling as the Bon Iver set, so I’d recommend showing up on time if you’re springing for the $50-and-up tickets. Collections Of Colonies Of Bees recently released a new album, Hawaii, which features Madisonian Matt Skemp (Czarbles, Houses In Motion) on bass and Milwaukee’s Marielle Allschwang on vocals.

As for how much “hipness” this will really confer on Baldwin, I mean…that’s never quite been the Senator’s vibe, but maybe she can sit in on OP-1 or something. The most recent polls show Baldwin leading her Republican challenger, State Senator Leah Vukmir.

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