Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bear Hands - Lightwaves -- DC9 - Jun 21 2014

Lightwaves - This is only the second show ever for this DC band? Perhaps so, but they have hit the ground running with this sharp little twenty minute set of throbbing pop music. They could really lock into a groove, while delivering their quality pop vocal melody lines with clarity and just enough energy. The pulsating sound of it all was fascinating, helped with keyboards in addition to the rock trio of instruments. The drumming was a bit crude at times, occasionally helpful to the throb, other times distracting. But overall, there was a solid core sound that works well and they successfully warmed the large crowd present at an early Saturday evening show.
Bear Hands - I missed a DC show from this band earlier this year (and a number prior to that) and am happy to catch up and see what these Brooklynites can deliver. The first couple of songs had me impressed with their playing and some of their choices of how they interacted with each other, but I was not so sure about the songs. Thankfully, I was here for 50 minutes with this band and about mid way through the set, they had built up a strong identity that made complete sense. This is quirky pop music with a bit of post-punk heft in many of the songs and it took me a while to fully integrate what they were doing with their marriage of contrasting sounds. They seem like a band that works their ideas out with creative moves slowly integrated by each member over time. There is a lot going on individually, but it is hard to notice as the group seems so locked into a group sound. They mentioned they are always happy here in DC and DC is happy with them as tonight's show was sold out. And I am happy that I finally joined in on what many people have known about for some time now, that Bear Hands is a strong band, well worth devoting some club time to.

Photo grab of the Night: Amusing caption writing is a fine art...

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