photos by Sarah Frankie Linder, words by Rachel Angres
Bowerbirds @ Lincoln Hall
Following an energetic set by opening band Dry The River, I sensed some disjointedness as the Bowerbirds began their headlining performance at Lincoln Hall on 3/29. The stage was somber - in mood and lighting. The first few songs seemed hurried; Beth switched from keys to accordion as if it was a game of "capture the flag." Phil Moore sang in his own timing, as the percussion rushed the songs into an abrupt ending.
Eventually, seemingly after realizing how loyal and forgiving the fans were, all five members of Bowerbirds loosened up. Backing up Beth Tacular and Moore was a demure cellist, drummer and bassist. Each of the members' faces was still and tranquil as the enchanting harmonics of Beth's voice soothed the rugged tenor of her counterpart - and real-life love - Philip Moore.
Phil, as lead vocalist and guitarist, did not say much between songs. He mentioned that he was from Iowa, almost begrudgingly; some audience members cheered while others empathized. "I have not been happy playing a show every night for months straight, but tonight - here in Chicago - I am happy," Phil said with sincerity.
At least a half a dozen times during the bucolic and joyous set, they mentioned the recent release of their latest record, The Clearing, as if to forewarn the audience that they may not recognize the sound. In fact, it was not the popular track "Northern Lights" off their debut album Upper Air that riled up the crowd the most, but a simple and elegant song titled "Stitch The Hem" from The Clearing that excited people most.
More pictures from the Chicago show below...
Dry the River