by Rose Blanton
This show has been four years in the making for me. Back in 2010 when Bear in Heaven was playing Pitchfork Music Festival their set conflicted with Wolf Parade. I was a senior in undergrad and at the time, the kind of festivalgoer that has one thing on the mind, ear-busting insanity. So I passed it up and have been biding my time since them. In 2010 Bear in Heaven was anointed with the title of Best New Music and since then I feel like instead of trying to kill themselves putting out a stellar sophomore album they have just focused on evolving.
Time is Over One Day Old is their fourth studio album and is definitely percussion centric. While all of their albums have krautrock spookiness to them, TIOODO seems to be birthed from a dungeon. This past year they also changed up their members. Adding Jason Nazary, a classically trained jazz drummer that has allowed the band to tighten up their sound but still stay weird.
When Jon Philpot walked onto stage he was wearing a t-shirt with a “Brigid Berlin” print on it. They looked like they had been touring for months but this tour is far less heavy than their previous ones. Perhaps they have to work a little harder. With a new member come new habits and creative differences. Philpot is not classically trained and the regimen of a musician that is something he’s not use to. They have also been quoted in certain recent interviews saying how emotional and financially draining this career has been for them. Jon Philpot has been making music for 13 years. Perhaps they’re tired, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that they are coming to a close.
Either way, the show took put me in a limelight era trance. Slowing dancing to sparsely paced beats and Jon Philpot’s echoing croon. The show was every thing I wanted but also completely unexpected. They even graced us with “Lovesick Teenager.” I’ll never know what I missed back in 2010 but I can say that Bear in Heaven has used their time since then wisely and I believe focused on what makes them unique, not what wins them awards.
Photo by Shawn Brackbill