Bear Ceuse 9/10/16

(a) setlist

I don’t know! And it doesn’t even matter. Local bands who come out and jam the night away don’t need setlists. The band played for about an hour and they rocked.

(b) highlights

  • seeing my awesome coworker Cameron – who happens to be the frontman of Bear Ceuse – be a badass singer, excellent guitarist, and general fun frontman; and I say this pretty objectively speaking…he was awesome.
  • I freaking love Mercury Lounge – one of the best venues in New York City without a doubt. It always reminds me of all the bands I’ve seen there before, especially The Cribs, and I can’t help but think about how The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs got their start there in the early 2000’s. Love it.
  • despite having never heard any of the songs before, I was so into Bear Ceuse’s rock ‘n’ roll vibe in the vein of Big Talk, slight alt-country hint a la Snakearm, and Everclear-esque vocals. The music was both familiar and fresh all at once.
  • a super sweet and heart-warming cover of Gene Wilder’s “Pure Imagination” in light of his then-recent death was unexpected and charming.

(c) lowlights

  • the venue was hot af; broken air-conditioners in an Indian summer are not that great.

(d) overall thoughts

I don’t see a ton of local bands in NYC, which I’m sure comes across as a gigantic and embarrassing loss of opportunity, but oh well. I was happy that the chance to see Bear Ceuse popped up. I was in need of a show – I was getting that twitch of having not seen a live show in awhile (over a month!!! what!), so I jumped at this. The lead singer and songwriter of Bear Ceuse, Cameron Matthews, is actually my coworker and a freaking cool ass dude. He super downplays his talent and Bear Ceuse is cool as hell.

As I mentioned, Bear Ceuse is unique because they sound a bit like a bunch of different bands, but also sound like no one else. With a traditional set-up of four dudes on drums, bass, and two guitars, they felt like a slice of rock ‘n’ roll without being too punk. Cameron mentioned that the second song was “a country one,” which gave away a bit more about how the band views themselves than the type of band they actually are. I’ve seen a couple of acts the last two years or so that really utilized that gritty and fun crossover of alt-country and funky rock ‘n’ roll (including Halloween Town and Romance Fantasy), and I’ve decided that I really dig it. A couple of songs in the set absolutely gave way to a late-90’s post-grunge feel close to Everclear or even Soundgarden sometimes, but the refreshing playfulness to the performance made the experience fun, to say the least.

 

Bottom line: Bear Ceuse is cool as shit and seems to be bursting with musical ideas; I look forward to listening to more of their work to find more connective threads in the their songs that appear to be brush with fun and unique influences.

The Cribs 3/11/15

(a) setlist

    1. Mirror Kissers
    2. An Ivory Hand
    3. Come On, Be a No-One
    4. Different Angle
    5. You Were Always The One
    6. Another Number
    7. Finally Free
    8. Our Bovine Public
    9. Martell
    10. Burning for No-One
    11. Glitters Like Gold
    12. We Share the Same Skies
    13. Pink Snow
    14. I’m a Realist
    15. Hey Scenesters!
    16. Men’s Needs
    17. City of Bugs

(b) highlights

  • the Mecury Lounge is super super tiny and super super cool; the Strokes got their start there in the early 2000’s and damn, does it look like it
  • the trifecta of “I’m a Realist,” “Hey Scenesters!,” and “Men’s Needs” = true perfection
  • Jarman Bros. banter, always
  • the dirty rock ‘n’ roll, lower east side punk-vibe of the entire show (aka getting kicked and punched but all in good fun, and never too much)
  • knowing a band I’d loved for 10 years still had all the flavor and spice I remember

(c) lowlights

  • the sound could’ve been better, but I’m pretty sure the “gritty exposed brick” of the venue was never intended for great acoustics
  • the crowd was half “their first album is the only good one” and half “I’m going to push everyone and everything regardless if I care about the song” but I totally still had a great time despite them all

(d) overall thoughts

The Cribs are freaking great. The Jarman Brothers are Yorkshire punk-y dudes who made mid-2000’s indie exciting and every album they’ve put out has been more interesting than the last, including the one they put out with Johnny Freaking Marr of The Smiths. (Some people act like that’s a casual, normal thing – for young bands to be great enough to work with Johnny Freaking Marr and that is not normal, that is next-level amazing.)

The energy was stupid high all night, the quips between Ryan, Gary, and (occasionally) Ross were as great as brothers’ quips can be, and the newer material still felt as fresh and fun as the older gems. Seeing The Cribs always feels like stepping into a time machine in a way – not in a sickly nostalgic way exactly – but enough to make you feel transported for an hour or so. There’s something intensely English about their sense of rock music and I’ve always loved that about them. Their shows are loud, wild, and always a riot. This one was no different. It was my second time seeing them live, but my first time seeing them in over eight years, and man, it was a total treat.

 

Bottom line: The Cribs always bring a good time and I have no shame in admitting I totally cried when “I’m A Realist” started because I’m a sap.