This week: Justin Vernon's indie folk act Bon Iver has risen from playing venues like Schubas to playing Chicago Theatre and, on Friday, UIC Pavilion. The group recently received several Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist.
The question: Does all this mainstream success damage Bon Iver's indie cred?
How much street cred can a band really maintain once it's reached stratospheric fame? Sure, Bon Iver is playing to the man (and mainstream fans) with a UIC gig, but what might suffer more is their sound. This certainly isn't a musical experience I'd want to have in a huge venue. In terms of having fame both ways, Bon Iver can learn from Death Cab for Cutie--a band that sold out long ago, but brought me to tears from the intimacy of their Metro concert in May.