March 10, 2010

Bear Eats Cymbals: Local 506 on 3/7

So we went to this show expecting to see two great bands for the eight dollar price of one. If we had gotten there in time to see the opening band Freelance Whales that may just have happened. Only caught a couple songs from the Whales but I did like what little we saw. Equal parts Arcade Fire, Death Cab, and Polyphonic Spree (maybe get the blog some hits with those references?).

Obviously that means I didn't particularly care for one of the headliners. I'm afraid that distinction falls to "Cymbals Eat Guitars" but we'll go in chronological order and get to them later. Bear in Heaven was second to the stage and they were impressive even before playing a note. I guess at this point we should expect a Brooklyn based post-rock group to be pimping some pretty sweet moustaches and were they ever. The driving force behind the Bear in Heaven set was Joe Stickney whose tribal drumming expertly set the stage for the hypnotic trance-inducing sound of the band. Frontman Jon Philpot(he of the most impressive tache) joined in with somewhat spooky falsetto vocals and loops from the array of electronics spread out before him. The band was rounded out by the more than adequate guitar and bass work of Adam Wills. You could tell these guys were having fun and they really appreciated the big crowd on a Sunday night (should probably expect it when you're Pitchfork's darling). For me the highlights were not hits like "Lovesick Teenagers" or "You Do You" but rather more obscure tracks that the band felt like they could experiment more with. All in all a great show, and easily one of the most interesting I've seen in a long time.

As mentioned before I was not very impressed with headliners "Cymbals Eat Guitars". Perhaps my companion for the evening summed it up best with her remark after a few songs that "these guys could be on the Party of Five soundtrack". I really had a hard time getting past frontman Joseph D'Agostino's antics, vocals, and corny guitar solo's. At times it seemed like we were watching a band do Modest Mouse covers at a high school talent show. The crowd steadily thinned during the set and I'll admit to leaving early as well. It's entirely possible that Cymbals Eats Guitars is just not my thing, or perhaps we caught them on an off night.

Video: Bear in Heaven - Shining and Free

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