Hard-working Aussies, Boy and Bear worked a sold-out crowd at The Hollow Bar and Kitchen on June 8. The five-piece indie/folk band barely fit onto The Hollow’s stage, but that didn’t seem to matter to the crowd, which appeared to be filled with a mix of 20-year-old girls and a handful of limb-flailing hippies. Pants cuffed, Boy and Bear ripped through an 18-song set with ease, and although there was little movement from the band, lead singer, David Hosking, mesmerized the crowd with his passion and digit-flaring moves. Throughout the evening, Hosking kept his eyes focused on the abyss, while periodically addressing the attendees with little tidbits about the songs. A few standouts from the Boy and Bear set include “Showdown,” “Back To Black” (Amy Winehouse cover) and “Part Time Believer.” All three songs played in succession, leading up to the grand finale of “Harlequin Dream,” “Southern Sun” and “Walk The Wire.” Hosking was nice enough to inform the crowd that there would not be an encore, and seeing that the band played 18 straight songs, nobody seemed to mind; it’s a trend that many bands seem to be embracing.
Perhaps just as impressive as Boy and Bear was the Capital Region’s own Bear Grass. By chance, the foursome had a similar name, but couldn’t have been more different. Lead singer Katie Hammon drove an absolutely intoxicating 10-song set, which quickly won over The Hollow audience. The performance even seemed to win over Boy and Bear drummer, Timothy Hart, who more or less stood and watched the entire set. Even Hosking himself exited the tour bus to check out a few numbers. Hosking was quick to praise and thank Bear Grass as the night concluded, even though the two were sharing the stage for just one night. It’s easy to see why Hammon and Bear Grass are a local band that stand out as on the rise; she’s reminiscent of a Nina Gordon of Veruca Salt fame.