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Bon Iver to play a show at the soon-to-open Rust Belt in East Moline
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Bon Iver to play a show at the soon-to-open Rust Belt in East Moline

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Less than two months after The Rust Belt opens its doors, the East Moline music venue is set to host the indie folk band Bon Iver.

Known for songs such as "Skinny Love,” Bon Iver will play a concert on April 6 at the soon-to-open venue, booking manager Sean Moeller announced Tuesday.

Bon Iver’s show in the Quad-Cities is part of an eight-city tour, which kicks off in Philadelphia on March 27 and wraps up less than two weeks later in Detroit on April 8.

Moeller said the show is a big deal for The Rust Belt, which has the capacity of 4,000 people and is being built in a former industrial space at 1201 7th St., East Moline.

Bon Iver was founded by singer/songwriter Justin Vernon, who released the band’s debut album, "For Emma, Forever Ago," independently in July 2007. Not long after the record came out, Moeller, who was then running Daytrotter, invited Bon Iver to play a show at Huckleberry’s Pizza in Rock Island.

“Justin is a Midwesterner and he’s constantly making new and beautiful things, not just music,” Moeller said of Vernon, who is a native of Eau Claire, Wisc., and founded a music festival there. “He cares about where he’s from and where he’s decided to stay and he’s got a passion to leave a positive lasting impression. I’ve always admired that about him.”

Vernon also happens to be, Moeller said, “one of the most influential artists of this generation.”

“For him to want to play The Rust Belt when he could have chosen to play anywhere bigger or different, in any city in the country, says something,” he said. “Him coming back again after all this time, to a new thing we’ve created is an indication that everything is still on the right path and that the Quad-Cities is in for something special.”

The Rust Belt’s official debut is the three-day Moeller Nights Festival, set for Feb. 14-16, featuring music acts such as Anderson East, Lolo, Hiss Golden Messenger, The Cerny Brothers and more.

When it opens, The Rust Belt will be the second-largest music venue in the Quad-Cities.

Moeller said Bon Iver playing The Rust Belt — especially so soon after it opens — is “going to put gasoline on the fire.”

“We are the sleeper music city that’s not going to be slept on for much longer,” Moeller said. 

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday and will be available at eventbrite.com. 

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