Though the Barr Brothers were headlining at Metropolis, what brought me into this archetypical venue on November 6th was their opening act: Bahamas. Stage name for Toronto-born musician Afie Jurvanen, Bahamas in flesh is a slick no-bullshit mature indie folk/blues act with a very competent backing band.
Bahamas’ set focused on their latest album, Bahamas is Afie, with interspersed tracks from the 2012 Barchords LP. “Never Again” kicked off the night with a sensual and slow-building lo-fi feel and progressed into more breezy, symphonic and slightly melancholic beach day vibes with “Caught Me Thinkin” and “Can’t Take You With Me” from both albums. In the second half of the set, the band dropped coveted “Lost In The Light” track from Barchords. They were simply there to have a good time and have the audience hang loose with them.
To close perfectly their performance, the band finished off with “All The Time,” hit track from Bahamas is Afie. Dissonant riffs on a 1950s guitar and playful falsetto harmonies — a Bahamas trademark — got the crowd all riled up and groovin’ until the end.
In all honesty, it was one of the most legit indie pop acts I’ve seen; it didn’t make you question the experience beyond it being a feel-good concert meant for pure enjoyment. Jurvanen’s persona facilitates such an experience, with all the fantastic attributes of a fun kitschy Dad that is too lovable to come off as ostentatious or oppressively hip.
– Review and photo by Jess Newfield