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photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
Sensory Overload. That is how I'd describe Bear in Heaven's show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday (5/9) night. There were '80s goth band levels of fog machine and a barrage of cool lights to go with it, both of which matched well to the bombastic space jams Bear in Heaven produce. Those big fat synths the band favors sound great really loud, as do drummer Joe Stickney's Miami Vice-style fills. I wish the new album, I Love You It's Cool, had the drums mixed that loud, it's definitely one of the signatures of BiH's live show.
They played Bowery Ballroom the night before, but the Music Hall show was the final night of the five-week tour promoting I Love You It's Cool, and playing before a neighborhood crowd the band were both punchy and pumped, especially singer John Philpot who was dancing even more than he usually does. The Zambri sisters hopped on stage to dance during "Reflection of You" and then sang -- as they often do at hometown shows -- on "Lovesick Teenagers."
Both openers on the bill made good use of the projection screen. Portland's Blouse had washed-out slow-mo imagery that looked like a Cocteau Twins album cover come to life which suited the band's rainy day dance music. Montreal's Doldrums played in front of what seemed to duped-over videocassettes, which is kind of what their music sounds like too, though the band (now a trio) sound more and more like a cohesive unit and less like the weird dabblings of Eric Asher every day.
More pictures from the show, with Bear in Heaven's setlist, below...
Bear in Heaven
Bear in Heaven - Music Hall of Williamsburg 5/09/2012 Setlist
You Do You
The Reflection of You
World of Freakout
Kiss Me Crazy