I’m not sure exactly what it is about live shows. Maybe there’s some sort of ancestral memory, from way back when we picked our teeth with animal bones and had such copious amounts of body hair that fur would be a more appropriate term. Whatever the case, there is a different sort of recognition that tingles through my blood for live music versus recorded tunes. Even if it’s a low-key setting with a band I’ve never heard before, I heart live music.
Last Friday, my mom and I checked out our first show of the year: Anchor & Bear at the Pour House (aka Paso Robles Brewing Company). This was a perfect end to a day of wetting our lips with the nectar of the vines, and soaking in the landscape.
The Pour House is basic. They have tables and particle board. They have chairs and taps. They serve a line up of stellar brews and know what they’re pouring. And if Anchor & Bear is any indication, they also have decent taste in music.
A&B (decked out in matching, striped, jailbird-style shirts) was the only band that night, playing a 3-hour set with one break. Mainly folk, rock, and a vein of country (back beat / bass), they crooned original folky melodic tunes (check out Maybe Mustache and Bicycle Races), and played some really obscure covers. One drummer (Eric White, small kit), bass player (Ed Kasper), lead singer playing rhythm (Bearkat, also songwriter), and a second lead singer and lead guitar (Paul Starling, also songwriter) make up the flesh and bones of the band. Though they’ve only been together for about six months, they worked out how to tackle unpracticed material onstage with little to no trouble.
Ed kept trying to get us to dance and enjoyed heckling us a bit. His bandmates were just as personable and real. Assessment: Anchor & Bear gave a fun show, and are worth a listen.