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Five years ago, a slightly bearded Justin Vernon played two shows at CMJ under his Bon Iver moniker: BrooklynVegan's official showcase at Bowery Ballroom and then a BV-sanctioned day party at LES staple Pianos. Somewhat typical of intricately scheduled festivals, there was a last-minute stage switch to move the band's afternoon set in the upstairs room to the main stage that evening, causing a long wait and general confusion for those out to see if the band was worthy of the 8.1 review Pitchfork had just granted For Emma, Forever Ago.
"The show was worth the wait," Kelefa Sanneh wrote in the Times. The CMJ appearances jump-started Vernon on his current path, helping him to gain traction at SXSW the following spring and launch him into the wider consciousness. And, finally: "We also learned it's pronounced 'bone ee-vare.'"
Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter at @heylaurenbeck.