Show Review + Setlist: Bear in Heaven and Twin Sister at the Luminary Center for the Arts, Saturday, July 31

Share on Nextdoor

Page 2 of 2

Joe Stickney is an insane drummer; I'd swear the damn things smile at him, gratified to be expertly demolished by under his capable hands night after night. It's not hard to see why he tours with Panthers and has drummed for the likes of Rhys Chatham. He plays barefoot and never stops moving -- it looks like he has at least four arms and three feet and could keep a beat on his kit while drinking Earl Grey out of the Queen's finest bone china. Philpot handled the synth and effects and traded guitar duties with bassist Adam Wills. Multi-instrumentalist Sadek Bazarra seems to have recently left the band, making the fact that the band can perform at this level without a fourth member all the more impressive. Philpot is the mad genius behind Bear in Heaven -- it's obvious that it's his baby -- but the band wouldn't be half as awesome without Wills and Stickney.

"Wholehearted Mess" was surprisingly life-affirming for such a depressing song: "Don't forget to forget my name/This is the last song you'll want to sing/Just forget me/You don't know me." Bloggers have touted the single "Lovesick Teenagers" to death, and while it was stately and wonderful live, it wasn't transcendent. The crowd seemed to favor the darker stuff, such as the hypnotic textural throb of "Dust Cloud" and diabolical "Drug a Wheel." "Deafening Love" was sweeping and sinister, a death march with a sense of impending doom akin to just about every Black Angels song. Philpot's vocals grew more ominous over the crunchy guitars and rightfully deafening reverb. "You Do You" rose to crescendo amid a cascading electronic mist and the crowd went crazy for the understated driving force of "Casual Goodbye."

"Well, this has turned out to be really fun. We're used to playing in dirty bars, this place is nice. You guys in St. Louis got class and money," Philpot said as the set came to an end. The crowd tittered and didn't bother correcting him; The Luminary is probably the most immaculately maintained venue in town and by no means representative of St. Louis as venues as a whole. But we can pretend.

Like I said, you shoulda been there.

Bear in Heaven setlist: Beast in Peace Ultimate Satisfaction Wholehearted Mess Fake Out Dust Cloud Lovesick Teenagers Deafening Love Drug a Wheel You Do You Bag of Bags Casual Goodbye Lovesick--Lindstrom & Christabelle cover

Setlist penned by Philpot himself.
Setlist penned by Philpot himself.

Random note: Local electronic musician Ra Cailum, aka Anthony Engelhardt and his friend Jake Leech opened the show. Only caught a few minutes of their promising set, Engelhardt said it was his first time playing out in a legit venue and so keep your eyes peeled for Ra Cailum dates.

About The Author

Scroll to read more Music News & Interviews articles (1)


Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.