A friend of mine really likes this band, Bear Hands, and hasn’t shut up about them the past few months. I mean that in the nicest way possible, because I can definitely understand bugging people about a band you love until they finally give in and admit you were right.
I didn’t give in to my friend’s insistence until this past Friday, when we got to see them perform live at Buzz Beach Ball in Kansas City. If you aren’t familiar with Triple B, it’s an annual one-day music festival that takes place in Sporting Park and always has really cool indie/alternative bands. Just to give you an idea of how freaking cool it is, this year BBB was headlined by Arctic Monkeys and Weezer.
Also, nobody there calls it “Triple B.” I just made that up to sound cool.
But what was great about Beach Ball was that while they did have huge leading acts like the two mentioned above (as well as The 1975), it also featured 9 artists who are still establishing themselves, including Bear Hands.
The only way I can describe Bear Hands is by saying that they were everything you wouldn’t expect. The guy who I thought would be the lead singer wasn’t and the guy who I thought was a roadie was actually in the band. The lead singer kinda sorta sounds like Tom DeLonge (of Blink-182 fame) and the band features a nice mixture of punk, rock, indie and synth pop (a beautiful example is their single, “Giants”).
About halfway through the show, the lead singer spoke to the crowd a bit. He wasn’t talking like a rock star or someone there for a paycheck, but just like a guy who loved to play music. It sounds corny, but you could tell he was really grateful to be there. Mostly because he actually said that.
Bear Hands hails from Brooklyn, but evidently 96.5 The Buzz was the first station to play their music. Which is strange, because it’s Kansas City. The Midwest isn’t supposed to break new artists. The lead singer said that KC was like a second home for the band, and that if everywhere they played were like Brooklyn and KC, they’d have it made. And judging by the crowd they played for, I think he’s right.
When I got home the next day, I actually bought the album on Amazon. Granted, it was only $8, but still. That’s a steal. Those guys deserve it because they were fun and have a cool sound.
The song I chose to feature on DPJ is the one they opened with, “Peacekeeper.” I love this one because it’s an unusual track to open a set with, as they’ve got others with more energy. But it worked for them and it worked for me.