Himalayan Bear/ Balacade/ The Dayfather @ Copper Owl Thursday, April 23

Himalayan Bear at Copper Owl April 23/15
Himalayan Bear at Copper Owl April 23/15

On Thursday night, the Copper Owl played host to a showcase of local talent. The Dayfather started the evening off with a set of literate and musically complex acoustic tunes. While this was The Dayfather’s very first gig, singer/guitarist Dana Corrigan seemed relaxed on the Owl’s small, sunken stage as he worked his way through a set of material which will be featured on his forthcoming EP.

Next to take the stage was Balacade, whose delicate, plainspoken songs quickly silenced the crowd. Andrew Reynolds’ hauntingly fragile voice and lonesome harmonica often invoked the lo-fi splendor of Elliot Smith’s first recordings. At one point, Reynolds unplugged his guitar, forcing us to lean in a bit more to hear his mournful odes to vulnerability.

Last to take the stage on Thursday evening was Himalayan Bear. One never knows quite what to expect from Himalayan Bear; the moniker, fronted by Victoria’s Ryan Beattie, has taken on many incarnations over the past several years. The last time I saw Himalayan Bear perform, the band had swelled to a massive stature, including two guitars, keys and two drummers (!). At the Copper Owl, however, Beattie stripped the band down to himself, drummer Marek Tyler, and Megan Boddy: the results, somehow, were no less powerful.

It is a treat to see Beattie and Tyler play together. Beattie’s attention to tone and obvious mastery of his guitar are taken to further heights by Tyler’s remarkable percussive instincts. Tyler often held an abandoned drum stick in his teeth as he pounded away on symbols with his palms and fists, adding a shimmering crescendo to various songs in the Himalayan Bear catalogue, most notably the exquisite Hard Times. All in all, an excellent night at the Copper Owl.

Nick Lyons

For photos of the show, check us out on instagram.