During the middle of Bowerbirds’ set, Philip Moore noted how the band has been “hanging with British dudes too much,” referring to Dry The River. From the moment Dry The River took the stage, it was apparent the band of 5 meshed together elements of strings and a boys’ choir enough to sound like the musical child of Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire. We couldn’t complain too much, as the set led to an climatic final song as a result of the passion shared between the five.
Bowerbirds took the stage approximately 15 minutes after set time. Jokingly, Moore makes a request for the audience to “calm down,” as fans stand completely still, mostly in silence, waiting for their set to begin.
A theme of nature and existentialism is common along Bowerbirds’ albums. On records, it’s calm; in concerts, it echoes. The personal obstacles of Philip Moore and Beth Tacular have inspired the latest release, The Clearing. Though the songs were inspired by their relationship and troubles within the past years, the two kept distance from each other the whole night. Instead, the band shared a common chemistry.
Starting the set with an “oldie,” Hymns For A Dark Horse‘s “Hooves” introduced the audience, most whom were more than familiar with Bowerbirds’ discography, to how the night would continue on as, reminding me of one of my favorite quotes where Pulp Fiction’s Mia notes “when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.”
Bowerbirds is not a loud band, though the live set consisted of five members, the set was not a showcase of volumes. Going through The Clearing‘s favorites like “Tuck The Darkness In,” and “This Year,” harmonies were shared between Tacular, Moore, and Mark Paulson. The band also made sure to play past favorites, including “House of Diamonds,” and ending the set with “Northern Lights” with Dry The River. “We’ve been practicing for the past 2 weeks for this moment,” they reassured the audience. Jokes aside, it all seemed effortless.
The night of folk was shared between the audience and the band. Moore curating a lot of conversation in between songs, the audience responding rather enthusiastically. Bowerbirds’ execution of music is beautiful: close your eyes for a second and you can hear rivers, winds blowing through oak trees, or in a sense, wherever you feel most comfortable.
Author’s side note: I’m a big believer of naps, and also an even bigger believer of dancing. As serene as the set was, there was still about 10% of the audience swaying and dancing. Right on.