by Hamish McArthur
I was apprehensive about attending the Boy & Bear concert at Red Hill as I looked out my window to see grey skies and rain drops punish my bedroom window. I searched around to find my beanie which I had not worn since Japan. The search was in vain as the heavens smiled again with the Southern sun much to my delight.
It turned out to be an incredible night both with the climate and more importantly the soothing, charming, timeless sounds of Australia’s best indie folk rock band complimented by the Perth lights in the skyline at the open amphitheatre air. Brilliantly supported by Montaigne and the always epically brooding Art of Sleeping; Boy & Bear opened with their latest single ’Limit of love’. It was the perfect song to open with as there was no delay for the crowd to get what they wanted with the intro immediately sending the audience into sheer delight and expectation of what the night was surely going to bring and so much more.
The sing alongs, foot stomps, head bobbin shimmy shakes and fist pumps continued all through the 90 minute set as they played favourites such as Rabbit Song and Showdown. Soon after they covered the Amy Winehouse track Back to Black which was recently performed on Triple J’s like a version.
What a treat it was to hear performed by a band with such an honest sound but never taking away from the sultry blues feel the tracks oozes.
It was an absolutely triumphant and emphatic finish to the night with Part Time Believer, Harlequin Dream and Walk the Wire.
Everyone was overjoyed with the live musical connection that had taken place, with Drummer Tim Hart even baffled at the number of fans, saying it was the largest crowd they had played to in Australia!
The transitions between songs were seamless and creatively highlighted each band member’s equally important role in the band as they layered their instruments and beautiful harmonies all in unison.
A highlight to see performed with a conviction to match the lyrical genius was ‘Bridges’.
Drummer Tim Hart lead the way introducing the song with the solid rock groove for a couple of bars before letting the appreciative fans respond to front man Dave Hosking singing the opening line of “Get up and dance girl..” with fans singing the rest of the song with gusto and some even on the shoulders of others.