THE DEARS @ The Nest

By Cara Ventura - Classified - 09/29/04

At 1 o'clock in the morning I entered the stairway to what would normally seem to be a fairly large loft space. 'The Nest' strongly resembled its namesake; a blistering hot incubative space compacted wall-to-wall with young things. Nestled in the centre of the Nest was the musical equipment set up in a circle facing the true centre of the room. Tall speakers that pointed outwards (in conjunction with support beams) blocked the view of no fewer than 50% of the audience – but that was not to be an issue. As we tend to forget, musicians playing infectious music can get away with an uncontrived stage performance; there were none of the usual tricks – no stage or performance-specific lighting to speak of. The round table effect would turn out to be actually quite inclusive.

The Dears took the stage and proceeded to perform their Protest EP in its entirety. The sound was perfectly entrancing. The room stood at silent attention, mesmerized by the passion and intensity coursing through our corporeal selves. From the first haunting note to the very last wavering drone, everyone seemed as a part of the music as the performers were. I must call this event a concert specifically and not a 'show' – it was worthy of an orchestra stage – Heaven Help Us is the paradigm example, as it sounds like an intense classical piece.

Each song was larger than life (and by far that room). The Dears have a unique way of combining almost every style of music that has been experimented with (dare I say) since Medieval Madrigals. One can pick out across-the-board influences including (but not limited to) religious chanting, snippets of baroque structures, romantic melodies, impressionistic dissonance, folk, shoegazer – and many more styles in-between. I honestly didn't know whether I should have begun to look for a reason to lead a revolution or to try to find some really great opium. I think it was both.

Cara V hosts Classified from Noon-2pm on Sundays. She also performs multi-instrumentalist duties in Spectator (formerly the Omar and Louis Psychadelic Experience), on both bass guitar and saxophone.