Originally published on a blog called Describe the Ruckus.
As is typical on a tour, the Brooklyn-based trio Bear In Heaven mostly played songs from their new album I Love You, It’s Cool at Mississippi Studios. The album had only been released nine days before on April 3, so the audience was unfamiliar with the new material except for “The Reflection of You,” which became available before the album as a single accompanied by a dizzying music video with a background like the laser yearbook photos of the early 1990s.
Listening to songs from the new album is like eating musical vegetables; it perhaps requires a more mature palate and is necessary for growth, but it’s not the treat we’re waiting for. I Love You, It’s Cool doesn’t have any stand out tracks that compare to the catchy character of songs like “Lovesick Teenagers” from Beast Rest Forth Mouth. An undeniable crowd pleaser, Bear In Heaven played “Lovesick Teenagers” with a sheepish grin as the crowd whooped with unrestrained glee on the first electronic beeeyooou sound. The band played three songs from Beast and, like their fans, seemed more comfortable with the older material. Drummer Joe Stickney could play the familiar beats with his eyes closed, and he did, his head tilted back in satisfied pleasure. Although I Love You, It’s Cool doesn’t quite carry the enthusiasm of Bear In Heaven’s previous work, its more modest guitar and synthesizer sounds are sufficient to get Portlanders to dance on a school night and work bassist Adam Wills into a mustache sweat.
“This is the best fucking Portland show we’ve ever had,” said singer Jon Philpot to the crowd. “Thanks for dancing with me. Can we bring you to Seattle? That place needs an attitude adjustment.”
Photos by Rhienna Guedry