The last Bear in Heaven tour was obviously about two things: flashing lights and dance music. Lead singer Jon Philpot was its star in motion, arms in rhythm with the big loops and krautrock pump that populated I Love You, It’s Cool. Now, fourth album Time is Over One Day Old has given way to a more tempered groove, more concerned with textural dissection than sweat on the dance floor. This is not a problem, it’s just a different dream. At their September 5 show at Portland’s Mississippi Studios, the Brooklyn-based band switches between these two shapes, dropping the mood up and down in a way that never lets you lose yourself to one side.
Before BiH came Young Magic and Miles Cooper Seaton (of Akron/Family). Young Magic comes with an expertly sequenced projection package that favors Japanese imagery and natural points of collision (waves, drops, other non-water things). It was so in tune with the music that the band should stop touring and start doing soundtrack work. During Miles Cooper Seaton’s set, he leapt into the crowd for an old fashioned “this side of the room sings this, this side sings this” session. Truth is, he knew what to ask for, and what once was a room of strangers became a collective doing pretty things together.