This isn't going to be a lengthy review, but instead one that gets right to the meat on the bone. Bear in Heaven just wrapped up their tour in Cleveland last night, and the show was outstanding on all fronts. Citizen Rob and I caught the band when they played at Case Western Reserve toward the end of last year, and after that show, it was apparent that many of the tracks from Beast Rest Forth Mouth needed to be perfected in a live setting. The former quartet-turned-trio rolls onto stage with a lot of bells and whistles, and last year's show was slightly off-kilter with some performance flaws. It was such a treat to see how much these epic songs have blossomed with time and practice. BIH moved through most of BRFM's ten killer tracks, highlighted by the intense build and release of "Dust Cloud" and the relentless and wicked, "Ultimate Satisfaction." Maybe I'm in the minority, but I think that the move to a trio actually expands this sound and will allow for future mobility. Jon Philpot is still the brains behind the animal, but Adam Wills gets a little room to breath on the bass/guitar, and Joe Stickney is, hands down, one of the best indie rock drummers I've ever seen. True story. If you're a fan of BRFM, then you know how heavily it relies on percussion. In a live translation, the near tribal frenetics on the skins are loud and pronounced. It's impossible not to get into a groove with these three steering the ship. Twin Sister opened for BIH throughout most of the tour and were on their top game last night as well. Cleveland's own, Emeralds, swung in on a last second add-on and shredded in a 30 minute non-stop wall of sound. Their live improvisational entrancement was the perfect appetizer for BIH. Those that made it off their asses on a Monday night were treated to some of the best up and coming musicianship in the country. Be sure to check out Bear in Heaven's upcoming remix version of Beast Rest Forth Mouth by going over to Hometapes and enjoy the show video of "Casual Goodbye" above (apologies for the camera work. The Grog Shop is notoriously dark).
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