From East Coast to West Coast: Bear Hands Finally Comes to Vancouver
I must admit, I have been waiting quite some time for Bear Hands to come to Vancouver. After discovering them on RCRDLBL.com back in 2008, I became giddy at the thought of finding a band so good and so unknown and getting to watch these four guys from Brooklyn step onto the rock 'n roll cloud and rise to the heavens. Okay, I might be going a little overboard here, but seriously, these guys are THAT good.
So you can imagine how excited I was when I found out they were playing the intimate Biltmore Cabaret and not even headlining (apologies to headliners We Were Promised Jetpacks but Bear Hands were my main priority last night). As it was the first Monday night after the Olympics, I was pretty sure the show would be fairly quiet and I was right. Few people scattered around the stage with the bulk of people choosing the tables and chairs and chilling out with a beer. When the band took to the stage I wondered how many people were here to see Bear Hands - that question was immediately answered before they even played a note when someone at the back shouted "What are you guys called?"
With the lights low and the crowd eagerly waiting, Bear Hands begun their short set. A lot of the songs were off their forthcoming debut album so I was new to some of the songs but after what I heard I think it will be a contender for album of the year in my books. With thumping drums from TJ Orscher to get the feet moving and Ted Feldman's hypnotizing twangy guitars weaving their way underneath it all, more of the crowd began to filter closer to the boys making this sound. New b-side 'Can't Stick 'Em' was probably responsible for that with it's one-two beat and throaty bass line followed by middle eastern sounding drums mixed with a little bit of synth on 'Tablasaurus.'
As they came towards the end of their set, they played the title track from their previously released Golden EP which is four tracks of pure genius. I would have liked to hear more from that EP but there is only so much a support band can play without outstaying their welcome. However, 'Golden' was a perfect choice with Dylan Rau's stand-out, shouty vocals and Val Loper's bouncy bass to assist the lonesome, drunk girl who started dancing at the foot of the stage and continued her moves for new single and final song 'What A Drag.'
After thirty or so minutes, the stage curtains closed as Bear Hands left with us wanting more and an impressive line up at the merchandise table.