Justin Vernon brought Bon Iver’s excellent live lineup to Saturday Night Live tonight to perform a pair of cuts off the group’s doubly self-titled sophomore record, Bon Iver, Bon Iver. Though they opened with the Grammy-nominated “Holocene” single, Vernon and Co. didn’t play it safe with a second more universally lauded track, opting instead for the LP’s underrated closing number, their beautifully indulgent ’80s-laced tune “Beth/Rest.”
In fact, honoring the 30 Rock stage with the latter song was far from a recent decision: “It was a Christmas dream,” Vernon told Spin, adding that saxophonist Colin Stetson was pushed in a Lenny Pickett-esque direction when recording the cut. Pickett, of course, is the long-running lead sax player in the SNL house band, who’s arguably become one of the more iconic elements of the show.
Without further ado, enjoy both performances below (via MWP):