Review and Photography by Danielle Boise
North Carolina natives Bombadil opened for the The Last Bison at Vinyl on Thursday, Oct. 23 for an intimate night of conversation and song. If you want to see a band, I highly recommend seeing them while they are playing smaller venues. This create a much more intimate experience that forges a bound between performer and fan. And this is exactly what happened for both Bombadil and The Last Bison’s sets.
Bombadil started the night out on a refreshingly, albeit, quirky breath of fresh air that reminded me of a cross section of Jonathan Coulton meets Ben Gibbard. In between songs, James Phillips or Daniel Michalak would interject with random questions or statements to the crowd, like “How often do you go to the Center for Puppetry Arts? Are we in Midtown? Did you go to the protest today at the Capital?” Even on a small stage, Michalak was exploding with energy, bounding across the stage between Phillips and Stuart Robinson. It was a sight to see; the amount of pure energy that the band puts forth in between quiet moments of acappella songs to the passionate end with “Laundromat.”
“I grew up on classic rock-and-roll,” Benjamin Hardesty
The alternative-folk/rock six-piece ensemble, The Last Bison kicked off their set with a new song off of VA, which happens to be one of my personal favorites, “Bad Country.” The Last Bison brings together a verbose, rich sound that is lush with a palette of strings and percussion that harmonizes together to create a sound that is pure bliss with a hint of nostalgia. It’s like listening to magic unfold before you and seeing them live is ten times better than listening to their album. I didn’t think they could top what they recorded, but they did and they did it with gusto.
“We released a new record, VA, a couple of weeks ago. We’re really excited about it,” Benjamin Hardesty.
There is nothing better than going out and hearing a band perform live to lift one’s spirits and seeing The Last Bison perform with such earnest and heartfelt vigor, they reminded me why I love music so much. The unadulterated passion that showed up on stage as they perform their own music to invigorating covers just leaves you feeling lighthearted and happy when you leave. If you get a chance, this is a band you will want to see. They are out on tour through the end of November to promote their latest release, VA, which came out on Sept. 30.
Full Photo Gallery of The Last Bison