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[phlipcam video + review] Bear Hands @ the Paradise

Brooklyn-based indie-kids BEAR HANDS have toured with Passion Pit, so I can only imagine that when they booked last night's gig with Awolnation, the overwhelming sentiment was "shit, what a drag."

Or maybe not. It could be that I was the only one at the Paradise last night that thought that the vibe of headliner Awolnation's show was like walking into the party scene of a bro-tastic teen movie circa 1997. Within 15 minutes of being there, my friend pointed out that she had counted three grown men in ball chain necklaces. When was the last time you saw even one grown man in a ball chain necklace? That was strike one.

I should confess I'd never heard Awolnation [Aaron Bruno's of Under the Influence of Giants latest project] before last night. I came to see Bear Hands who, despite needing to smooth some of the rough edges off their stage presence (dudes are a little stiff), played a damn good -- albeit all too short -- opening set. It bears mentioning that they have an instrument that looks like (and I want to say definitely is) a softball shoved on top of a maraca that bassist Val Lopers employs as secondary percussion from time to time.

Watch em' play the last song of their short set, "Tablasaurus," below.

Then it was time for Aaron Bruno and Co. -- whose live sound can only be described as music to party to -- to take the stage. Watch the video below for explanation. Bruno peacocked around the stage like he was Jagger playing the Fillmore. Though I will say that his sense of showmanship, overblown or not, made Bear Hands' set look like high school band practice.

I'm going to leave the vid to speak for itself because I made it through just three Awolnation songs before I had to take myself home. My post-show Googles revealed that people seem to really dig them. Maybe the show got better after I left. I'll never know.

But yeah, Bear Hands -- check them out next time they come around and are, hopefully, headlining their own gig.

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