Tuesday night, while all my friends tweeted incessantly about Male Bonding at the Rickshaw Stop, I was quietly preparing for Himalayan Bear at the Hemlock Tavern. After writing an article on Himalayan Bear’s Hard Times (Absolutely Kosher), I found myself obsessively revisiting the album.
Each time I listened to Ryan Beattie’s range-vaulting voice and dark, reverb-drenched guitar, yet another reason to love the album revealed itself to me. I spotted Beattie grabbing a beer and a shot at the bar before ducking back into the dimly lit concert room. I made a mad dash to catch what I knew would be a memorable set. What I didn’t know was that his performance would turn out to be one of the greatest things I’ve seen all year.
As soon as Beattie launched into the first wailing guitar notes of the title track, “Hard Times,” and began crooning with that mournful, impassioned voice, I was floored. Assisted
by his brother Patrick Beattie on keys, Megan Boddy on viola, and Matt Skillings on drums, Beattie treated us to Hard Times in its entirety. Years spent playing guitar in Frog Eyes have paid off; Beattie filled the tiny room with lush reverberation. He floated marvelously in and out of his divine trademark falsetto.
Witnessing this cathartic performance in such an intimate setting, I felt as if I’d cheated somehow. Standing there, enraptured by Beattie, I recalled what he told me the first time we spoke: “To me, playing live is the greatest thing ever.”
Most Commented On
- There was an "aggreived party", JW, and you said it yourself: - May 23, 2013
- I don't know who, or how - May 23, 2013
- Weiner - May 23, 2013
- You're not seeing many "moderate" posters here? - May 23, 2013
- No, Nothing Wrong - May 23, 2013
- Yes, IOW it's the NIMBY, anti-progress idea that - May 23, 2013
- Funny how you defend people who have to leave the city for - May 23, 2013
- I agree, but it's good to see Greg defending the successful - May 23, 2013
- You read wrong. I only said that I understand city policies that - May 23, 2013
- Not every sex crime on the statute book involves actual sex. - May 23, 2013