Justin Vernon recorded Bon Iver’s first album in his father’s cabin in Wisconsin alone with a guitar, borrowed drums and a simple recording setup during the winter of 2006. His self-imposed exile from his adopted home in Raleigh, North Carolina was intended as a cure for a physical ailment and a broken heart.

Instead, Vernon binged on reruns of the ‘90s TV series “Northern Exposure”—the source of the band name, which is a rework of the French phrase for “good winter”—and wrote and recorded songs. Those compositions became “For Emma, Forever Ago,” an album that Vernon released himself as Bon Iver in 2007 and which subsequently launched his career.

Bon Iver’s dazzling show in the Schottenstein Center last night seemed to have nothing and everything to do with the intimacy of that album’s songs.

A lot has changed in the dozen years since “Emma” captured critics’ admiration, landed on their year-end lists, and attracted considerable record label attention. It includes three more releases, including the recent “i, i.” Like Bon Iver’s performance last night, those albums deliver Vernon’s songs threaded through a complex forest of electronic sounds and sonic layers originally created in the studio. Following their melodic thread is something like a game of snakes and ladders; piecing together their lyrics is another adventure altogether.

Last night, Vernon was accompanied by five musicians, including two drummers, two keyboardists, and a bass player. Like their bandleader, though, none stuck to a single instrument all night. All six utilized a range of electronic treatments that altered the sound and attack of their instruments.

The personal connection and dramatic arc, though, were rarely less intense than those in Bon Iver’s debut. In fact, the ecstatic instrumental peaks took the songs to another level last night. There was a method to Vernon’s mad embrace of hip-hop studio technique, especially its near-constant use of auto-tune on some songs, but it rarely obscured the lyric quality of his soul singing or the layered beauty of the harmonies he created with the band.

Interestingly, the one song that followed classic rock conventions most closely, with little or no treatments, was far less interesting, even though it climaxed loudly.

If Bon Iver’s music would have been little more than fancy electronics and novel construction, it would have been unsatisfying. Vernon’s creativity and his commitment to his songs, though, produced an emotionally engaging program of complex sounds that remained true to the spirit abundant in that winter cabin a dozen years ago.

Canadian alternative music veteran band Feist opened with an energetic set that spoke well for its instrumental talent and leader Leslie Feist’s experience, including her longtime membership in Broken Social Scene. Even on her own with just an electric guitar for one song, Feist never lost the drama of the full-band’s set.