Bottom line concert review: There are nights when the benefits of attending live performances can be seen in high definition; and last night was one of those nights
Bear’s Den was a “known quantity.” Indie Obsessive first mentioned the band in a January of last year and updates have followed. But Bear’s Den was not a “known quality,” since they were even better than expected. Perhaps the most interesting feature was watching as Joey Haynes adeptly played both bass and drums. But it was the three-part harmonization by a band that also has the skill to rock that made the evening. Rock was not the demand of the evening, but it surfaced at times and carried an infectious energy with each surface.
Bear’s Den easily flexes itself from an Indie Folk position to an Indie Rock position. The best example was their performance of “Sahara.” The full version of the song begins within the Ambient genre. After a short time, “Sahara” enters the “singer/songwriter Folk” region of the Indie world. But by the end of the song, the feel can only be described as “Rock,” particularly as performed live.
Bear’s Den announced after “Sahara” that they only had one song left in their repertoire, so they would perform the song and say goodnight. However, as they left, it was immediately clear that the people in attendance either didn’t believe them or just didn’t care that there were no more songs to be had. Bear’s Den did return, but not to the stage until after they had played “Bad Blood” in the center of the audience. [Is it coincidence that both Bastille and Bear’s Den are from London and both have songs entitled “Pompeii” and “Bad Blood?” It should be noted that the titles are the same, but the songs by the two bands are very different.]
The three members of Bear’s Den are Andrew Davie (vocals and guitar), Kev Jones (vocals, banjo and guitar), and Joey Haynes (vocals, drums, bass and guitar).
And hats off to The Chapel for the sound system. Without exaggeration, the sound system has been better each of the last four times we have attended a performance at this San Francisco venue.