Show Review: Bear In Heaven @ the Parish (4/24)

Bear In Heaven rode into town riding the waves of praise from their recent release, I Love You It’s Cool.  While the crowd filled the room for their set, it’s possibly many missed the stupendous opening acts at the Parish.  Come on people, go to shows early!

Anyway, here’s a few words on my evening at the venue, with photos from our homie Brian Gray.

Montreal’s Doldrums was surprisingly excellent, but simultaneously confusing (in a good way).  The man behind the music, Airick Woodhead, used all sorts of samples and beats to construct walls of electronic pop, sometimes danceable, sometimes just overwhelmingly noisy–it all worked.  His set really took a leap up when he brought his brother out to the stage to flesh out the vocals a bit more, plus add some synthetic percussion. For me, the musical sound was all over the place, fusing elements of drum and bass, trip hop and that constructionist electro-pop made popular by Animal Collective (only these dudes are weirder).  As an opener to a half-filled room, Doldrums fucked shit up in the best way possible–pretty sure not a single person would complain about their unique set.

The most impressive act of the evening for me was Portland’s Blouse.  Being one of the great bands on Captured Tracks, we here at ATH had already familiarized ourselves with the group, though I hadn’t been able to catch them in the live setting yet.  When they combined the gazier elements with the brooding bass-lines it all just seemed to come together for the group on-stage.  At times, you felt a certain distance between the audience and the band, but up near the stage you could often catch the coy smile of singer Charlie Hilton, lost in her band’s sound.  They were having fun, and we ate it all up; I honestly can’t praise the band enough for their performance.

Finally, it was our turn to catch Bear In Heaven, a band who always puts on a consistently solid live show.  From the minute they took the stage, you really had to focus in on your favorite aspect of the show, be it the lights, the music or singer Philpot. Playing songs from all over their catalogue the group just pushed on through, but Philpot definitely leaves audiences with a lasting impression of the band.  His spastic dancing, his permanent smile all adds to the essence if he and the band being “serious about that shit,” as he would proclaim mid-set.  It’s clear to see that everyone seems to be in love with the group at the moment (deservedly so) because every time I would turn from the stage to capture the audience, I saw them bouncing, shaking, jumping, eyes-closed in the powerful moment of music coming from the stage.  At times, the sound kind of got muddied going from track to track, but such are the troubles with a three-piece band I suppose (only so many places one can go).  All in all, I’m pretty sure everyone had a solid time, flailing about to the endearing electronic popular music of Bear in Heaven.

There are plenty more pics at the photo site

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