Bear Hands : Midpoint Music Festival Cincinnati Ohio : September 24

With all the venues and all the bands playing at this year’s Midpoint Music Festival there was really only one band I was really hyped to see –  Brooklyn’s Bears Hands.  With their distinctive percussion and dreamy guitars they create a sound that is truly unique within the indie-pop genre.  Though their album Burning Bush Supper Club  has only been out since the beginning of the year, they are most definitely a band that is going to do big things in the near future.

The venue for the Bear Hand’s Mipoint performance seemed like an odd choice.  The Below Zero Lounge is a glossy nightclub with a high production value.  Certainly not the type of dive I’m used to – maybe I should have ordered an appletini from my slickly dressed bartender instead of my usual bourbon.  The building crowd was the strange mix usually brought out by city-wide festivals, but everyone seemed relaxed and ready to have a good time.  It was still early with the Bear Hands playing a slot at 9pm, practically unbelievable to me that they would have been selected as an opener.  But with all the odd variables in place, when they finally took the stage they brought a kinetic energy to the room that was almost palatable.  Without much banter or introduction, they swept from one song to the next, masterfully recreating the intricate little beats and noises that make their studio album so fucking good.

Being a relatively newer band, I suppose it was inevitable that they would play all the best tracks from the album, but I felt an excitement in my chest every time they went into a personal favorite.  “Crime Pays” seemed to get the entire crowed bouncing, but the masterfully percussed “Tablasaurus” was certainly a highlight of the set, as was the beat-driven “Belongings”.  Ending strong with “What a Drag”, which had every soul is the house moving, the only downside to the entire show was that I wished there could have been more.   As far as I’m concerned, my choice to make Bear Hands the only band I saw at Midpoint was justified.

by Adrienne Panveno