Local Love: Birdmonster at the Bottom of the Hill
Now, for what seems like the last month or so (but likely just over a week), the entire San Francisco Bay Area has been one big, soggy, sad, cloudy mess. Perhaps that's why those who braved the elements to check out Birdmonster's show on Friday at The Bottom of The Hill were rewarded with more than the usual amount of revelry and companionship. Live music, much like family dinners and sporting events, is one of the world's great community-building events. The intimacy of the venue, coupled with Birdmonster's bright and energetic performance reaffirmed why the group is not only a favorite, but has a loyal local fan base.
Their music is a polished, but genuine take on indie rock Americana. Strong songwriting paired with everything from a full-strength rock band, to the most minimalist use of mandolin, makes Birdmonster the kind of band you reach out to on a rainy day. It probably doesn't hurt that all four are extraordinarily easy on the eyes.
Playing a mixed set from their newest release Blood Memory as well as previous albums, the boys took to the stage Friday night without holding back. The palpable energy both with each other and the audience, brought a strength and authenticity to their material that is impossible to record. They look like they are genuinely enjoying each other and playing music for you. "Yuma", sounded downright excellent live, a track that was, shall we say is not my favorite on Blood Memory. Another favorite of the evening was "I Might Have Guessed", which was made even more honest, emotional and stand-out-awesome by vocalist Pete Arcuni's alt-country crooning in-person. Between bassist Justin Tenuto jumping across the stage and the audience bouncing in return, the fun taking place was palpable.
No matter who you are, there is a 96.5% probability that at The Bottom of The Hill you will run into your best buddy/co-worker/someone that went to your high school. While this could be a drawback depending on your point of view, it does make Bottom of the Hill a cozy, convivial place to drink, be merry, and celebrate good music with new and old friends. It also made it the perfect setting for Birdmonster's intimate, silly, yet impressive performance.
If you missed it (or didn't get enough the first time) Birdmonster will be returning to Bottom of the Hill February 19, 2010 for an exciting lineup featuring Girl Band. And you should be there. Doors at 8pm, 21+, $10.
- Eve Marcellus