Barbara Manning, Dump, The Bevis Frond at TT the Bear’s 4-2-2014


Let me start out with saying that I hate buying tickets in advance, mostly because something will always go wrong or someone will cancel and then it becomes a huge pain in the ass to find someone to takeoff the extra ticket. This is what happened in the hours leading up to this show and at that point, I wasn’t really feeling it. Despite the drama, I arrived at TT the Bear’s for a show titled “Jon Bernhardt’s Midlife Crisis of Champions” in honor of WMBR’s Breakfast of Champions host Jon Bernhardt. For the first time I can remember, there was a bit of a line to get in, but it moved quickly. The best part about waiting in lines at events are the conversations you overhear, such as the two guys talking about a radio show and the girl behind me getting offended because it turns out she was a DJ. Once inside, I ordered a very much needed Sam Adams Rebel IPA, which was damn good! Beer in hand, I attempted to find a spot through the large, albeit older and hairy crowd to watch Barbara Manning’s set.

Barbara Manning 2Barbara Manning 1

To be honest, I wasn’t familiar at all with Barbara Manning or her music, so I really don’t have much to say about her set. There was a pretty large crowd gathered in front of a stage that consisted of just her and a guitar. People seemed to love it, and there was some banter between songs, which caused a few chuckles, but I just couldn’t get into her music, so I drank my beer and tried to enjoy myself.

Jon Bernhardt 4Jon Bernhardt 3

Next, the reason people were celebrating this night, Jon Bernhardt came onto the stage and started to play “Video Killed the Radio Star” on a theremin, but something went wrong. After a restart and some encouragement from the audience, he finished out the song. I made my way back to the bar for a Notch Session Ale, which wasn’t too bad, but I preferred the Rebel IPA. Up next was Dump.

Dump 1
Dump is a solo project of Yo La Tengo bassist James McNew. It was just him, a guitar, and a weird looking box for the whole set, which also didn’t seem to have any breaks between the songs. Granted, I was not familiar with his stuff either (although I am a fan of Yo La Tengo), but at times the music got kind of droney and used loops, which I kind of got into.

The Bevis Frond 1The Bevis Frond 5The Bevis Frond 3The Bevis Frond 8The Bevis Frond 6

I went for my third and final beer of the night, another Sam Adams Rebel IPA and found a good spot to watch the Bevis Frond. Jon Bernhardt came out to play another song, The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” on the theremin, which sounded pretty awesome! The Bevis Frond finally came on to the stage and played a pretty mellow at first, semi acoustic set that seemed to get progressively better as the night went on, with moments of psychedelia thrown in for good measure. It wasn’t an entirely bad night of music, and perhaps I’m being unfair due to other circumstances, but I just wasn’t that into it by the time the show rolled around, although I did manage to come around once the Bevis Frond started playing.

Here area a few videos I took of The Bevis Frond (I had a little bit of audio issues with my camera):

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