3/26/14 – The Sinclair

There are many bands who stand in the melodic indie folk-rock arena, and each one fights to carve out a unique sound and voice. Boy & Bear inherit many of their strengths from contemporaries like the melodic Fleet Foxes, the whistling Andrew Bird, and the driving beats of The Head and the Heart. Yet, regardless of whose musical company they keep, Boy & Bear have put together some fun foot-stomping hooks and heart-felt lyrics granting them success in their home country of Australia. Ultimately, as their live show demonstrated, the band stands on the strength of Dave Hosking’s unique vocals and songwriting.

Touring the US for the just the second time, Boy & Bear expressed their excitement to play at a sold-out show at such a great venue. A third of the way through the set, the drummer, Tim Hart, dedicated their performance to the two fallen firefighters who were killed during the fire on Beacon Street earlier in the day. To cries of “Boston Strong,” Boy & Bear made it clear they cared for their fans and brought some fun songs to take away all of our cares.

Overall though, Boy & Bear didn’t know how to comfortably engage with the crowd  and seemed to be missing the natural stage presence that can charm a curious listener. The band was at their best when they would transfer right from one song to the next, and they demonstrated this fluid mix of songs a few times throughout the night. Dave’s voice was on point throughout the show, and carried the crowd through a good mix of songs from their two releases, the more recent Harlequin Dream and the stronger Moonfire. Though the band seemed most comfortable and effective during their upbeat songs, with the kick drum driving their melodies forward, the highlight of the night came in the form of the beautiful “A Moment’s Grace.” A gorgeous ballad off of Harlequin Dream, Dave’s voice soared above the guitar picking, and the harmonies of the full band sounded magical.

Boy & Bear put on a good set and brought their songs into the live sphere with good execution, but the concert didn’t offer anything new or surprising to carry their music to a higher level.

Melodic Australians: Boy & Bear
  • Vocals
  • Song Selection
  • Lack of creativity in live performance
6.6Overall Score

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