Words and Photos by Saidy Lopez
I first saw Bear’s Den perform during CMJ music marathon back in October. After listening to their debut album, Islands, several times before the show at Mercury Lounge, I knew they were the band to see during that musically overwhelming week. I immediately fell in love with their music and live performance that I promised myself I would see them again the next time they played in New York.
Luckily for me Bear’s Den played the last show of their US tour on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, at Warsaw in Brooklyn.
The night started with Dan Mangan + Blacksmith, a folk-rock band from Vancouver. Unfortunately, I missed their set, but the young women that were standing next to me in the front row, raved about them, so I will have to check them out. I can only imagine the people in the crowd were incredibly thankful when Bear’s Den, the folk trio from the UK, took the stage, as were they to be performing in New York. “We’re thankful you all came out, that’s what we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving.” Joey Haynes told the crowd. Haynes also expressed their love for their second home, “We love New York, it’s our favorite city to play. We almost think we play it too much.”
Lead singer Andrew Davie radiated with a happiness so visible in his body language and contagious smile. The whole band exuded confidence as they played their set effortlessly. They delighted the crowd by bringing on a five piece horn section that included members of Rubblebucket, Daughter and Dan Mangan + Blacksmith. There was a uniquely cohesive moment at the beginning of “Magdalene” when it appeared as Andrew had forgotten the lyrics, but he flashed his boyish smile and the crowd cheered him on with great exuberance. You can easily see how well this band connects with the audience. Especially during their stirring performances of “Issac” and “Elysium”, the foot stomping “Agape” and the acoustic version of “Bad Blood” that they brought into the crowd to sing and rejoice during an Autumn evening in New York.