Concert Review: Bear’s Den at Fine Line in Minneapolis, MN – October 29, 2014

Photos and review by Joe Stadele for TWTHS, published 10/31/2014.

Openers: Dan Mangan + Blacksmith, Christof

Bear's Den Fine Line ©JSP2014 (12)“Now would be a good time to have a Shania Twain song, but unfortunately, we just do really sad songs,”
 jokingly insisted Andrew Davie.  While there is truth the singer/songwriter’s sentiment, the guys of Bear’s Den sure have an uplifting way of presenting such lovelorn tales.

Promoting their debut album, Islands, Bear’s Den returned to Minneapolis Wednesday night for their third performance in just seven months.  Not only have the the guys toured endlessly, but have also expanded their live sound with the addition of Neal Pawley and Chris Anderson assisting on horns, keys and additional percussion.  But at their momentous core, the UK trio’s magnetic draw was on full display as they commanded the set, adjusting the shows’ momentum, tempos and mixing beautiful harmonies with flowing atmospheric instrumentation — aided by a healthy dose of Shania Twain discussion along the way.

Bear's Den Fine Line ©JSP2014 (21)“I have a confession, we were watching videos of Shania Twain before coming out on stage, ” laughed Davies, “and if felt good — it’s true, hell of a woman, hell of a singer, hell of a songwriter.”  While the set was filled with other confessions, perhaps Twains’ influence was beneficial as the band kicked off the show on an electric note with the upbeat and bouncy “The Love We Stole.”  Confessionals were par for course with the gorgeous “Sophie” and “Magdalene.”  A surprise cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark” segued perfectly from the solemn yet catchy “Above The Clouds of Pompeii” to the haunting, throbbing and electric highlight of the night, “When You Break.”  The guys continued to mix up the set, even switching instruments as drummer Kev Jones and guitarist Joey Haynes exchanged roles for the clap-along “Think of England.”

After a rousing set that seemed to wrap up as quickly as it began, the guys used the encore to give fans an extra reason to come back.  The guys walked into the middle of the audience, turning towards one-another as the audience formed a circle around the men for the acoustic sing-along “Don’t Let The Sun Steal You Away.”  Ending on an upbeat note, the night was complete with fan-favorite “Agape.”

While dates are limited in 2014, US performances are still underway before the trio heads home in December:  Find dates and tickets here.

Setlist:
The Love We Stole
Writing On The Wall
Elysium
Sophie
Thinking of You
Stubborn Beast
Isaac
Magdalene
Above The Clouds of Pompeii
Dancing In The Dark (Bruce Springsteen Cover)
When You Break
Bad Blood
Encore
Don’t Let The Sun Steal You Away
Agape

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