Concerts Concerts Toronto Loves Bear In Heaven, It's Cool

Toronto Loves Bear In Heaven, It's Cool

Bear In Heaven at The Garrison
Bear In Heaven
The Garrison in Toronto, ON
May 5th, 2012

Review by: Katie Christensen
Photos by: Allison Janzen

 

At a quarter to midnight, the three members of Bear in Heaven sauntered onto The Garrison's stage, and the somewhat subdued crowd hollered sounds of welcome as Jon Philpot (Vocals/Guitar/Keys) cheekily quipped back, "I love you, It’s cool” - a phrase that happens to be the name of their third album, released in April to much acclaim.

Over the course of these three albums, The Brooklyn band has developed a sound that is synth-dense, inundated with reverb and catchy electronic pulsating beats that carry you away into a dancing frenzy one minute and have you swaying in a shoegazing trance the next. They have been described as existing somewhere between pop, electronica & krautrock, but they drift through a musical ether that repels classification, akin to M83’s grandiose electronic buzz and Active Child without the strings.

As they began showcasing their sound on this night with “Noon Moon”, a hyperbolic lightshow began to pulse with the song's sexy baseline and Philpot’s pacifying voice. The splayed LED bars would ebb and flow with the kick of Joe Stickney's  robotic drum beats and keyboard descants that album opener “Idle Heart” emanates.

Bear in Heaven’s second album, 2009’s Beast Rest Forth Mouth really kick-started their upward trajectory, so a select few songs had to rear their heads, like the slow burner “You Do You”. Then came the massive and affecting track “Lovesick Teenagers”, which single-handedly got me hooked on this band. While those were the fairly obvious nods to their namesake album, the rest of the evening consisted of showing off new and tighter material. They featured tracks like “Cool Light” dancing playfully on the line between relaxed and frenzied, and the chilled “Sinful Nature” which allowed Adam Wills (who usually wields the bass) to take a guitar for a spin. Other highlights were the dark psychedelic jam “World of Freakout”, the climactic “Space Remains” and the lead single “Reflections of You” where Philpot declares, “If you could dance with me, I think you’d like my moves” (and like his moves we did, as he shook and gyrated in a very Thom Yorke fashion). As a cherry on top, the group made a grand finale of the lusty “Kiss Me Crazy”, an essential listen off their latest album that showcases the bands more romantic side, ending the night on a quite a high note.

If you have not yet given Bear in Heaven a listen, I highly encourage you to embrace their uncomplicated complexity... or complicated simplicity, however you view it; they rock.   

SetList

  1. Noon Moon
  2. Idle Heart
  3. You do You
  4. Sinful Nature
  5. Warm Water
  6. Cool Light
  7. Reflection of You
  8. Space Remains
  9. Lovesick Teenagers
  10. World of Freakout
  11. Kiss Me Crazy

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