This past weekend, the student group Radical Performance Machine brought Brooklyn-based Bear in Heaven to Eclectic, where they performed at midnight following performances by Wesleyan Bands Oberhofer and Almonds and Elephants.
While the sweaty crowd grew as the night went on, the energy remained intense throughout the entire concert. There were relatively few people watching the first performance, but those who were there were in for a treat: Almonds and Elephants opened the show with a solid set. Their light but emotional melodies, harmonies, and lyrics contributed to an excellent performance. They used a variety of instrumentation during their set, ranging from a three-piece band of sax, piano, and drums to a larger group with instruments such as harmonica and banjo. Almonds and Elephants released an album entitled “Coissant” last spring.
Oberhofer played next with a slightly more traditional alternative rock instrumentation—two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. Their sound, however, was incredibly unique, combining stirring guitar lines and powerful lyrics. The energy in the crowd, on top of the number of people, grew during their set, until the room was nearly filled. As the number of people increased, so did the amount of dancing at the concert. If you ever needed evidence that Oberhofer can present a great set, take note: their performance led to the first of many crowd surfers of the night.
Headlining the show was Bear in Heaven, a three-piece group of synth, bass, and drums. By the time they began their set, a swarm of new people had entered the building, packing the steamy room from wall to wall. The show started and people went absolutely insane, in the best sense of the word. The number of crowd surfers increased exponentially. Every few seconds another person would pop up, only to stumble back down a few seconds later when a few people below failed to pay attention. The crowd was even wilder at the front of the stage, with people clamoring to get closer to the band—and the musicians’ amazing facial hair.
For those interested in a long-term relationship with the music of the Brooklynite band, check out their most recent album, “Beast Rest Forth Mouth,” released in October of last year.
Saturday night’s show was truly amazing, providing Wesleyan students with a chance to rock out to some great bands and dance the night away. And it wasn’t just Wes students who had a good time; the day after the show, Bear in Heaven posted on their Facebook page, “Did we mention last nights [sic] show at Wesleyan was off the charts? Finally some serious crowd surfing.”