I first watched Boy & Bear at the tiny East Brunswick Club in 2010 on a beautifully adorned seaside-themed stage so I was apprehensive to see them on a much larger, theme-less stage six years on. I wondered if Festival Hall might swallow them up.
Unlike most support acts who carry a sense of restriction and nerves, Montaigne opened with a fantastic amount of buoyancy. At one stage, she ventured shoeless across the two metre divide to greet the crowd. Enthusiasm and an amazing set of pipes aside, it was also intriguing to see the drummer precariously balancing items on the cymbals to create an atmospheric sound.
Art Of Sleeping were enjoyable, earnest and well-polished. I’m a bit lost for words, really. They were on point. It was the kind of performance that makes me just want to say “They were good”. Albeit, that could be an indication that I need to sharpen my reviewing skills.
Boy & Bear entered in darkness on the cowbell-driven, album / tour titled song ‘Limit Of Love’. There was a very poignant moment early on in the set where ‘Rabbit Song’ seamlessly led into the charming ‘Lordy May’, a solitary blue light shining on singer Dave Hosking. It also happened to be Hosking’s birthday. Drummer, Tim Hart, informed the crowd that throughout the seven years of touring, never had they performed on the date, to which followed, a crowd sing-a-long of ‘Happy Birthday’ as Hosking meandered back and forth in unease.
Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black made an appearance, a song they’d performed a day prior for Triple J’s Like A Version. As ‘Feeding Line’ commenced, cries of joy billowed across the venue and the floor rattled that little bit more aggressively due to the increased volume of toe-tapping.
The band aren’t one for encores so, upon informing us of this to avoid the inevitable “ONE MORE SONG” chant, they finished with ‘Part Time Believer’, ‘Harlequin Dream’ and ‘Walk The Wire’.
All-in-all, a top night… even minus the presence of a miniature lighthouse prop.
Written by Laura Cheshire