Hellion Magazine - Live Review: Jack and Eliza, Total Slacker, Miniature Tigers and Bear Hands

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(Photography by Mara Model)

Live Review: Jack and Eliza, Total Slacker, Miniature Tigers and Bear Hands

By Mara Model

March 12th 2014


A couple of lessons were learned after attending the Music Hall of Williamsburg's Feb 26th show featuring Bear Hands, Miniature Tigers, Total Slacker and Jack and Eliza. Some lessons were pretty straight-forward: you should know more talented duos like Jack and Eliza and demand for more music to be released than just their online demos.

Others needed more assistance: be aware of your surroundings when you're live-tweeting a show incase the lead singer of a band jumps off the stage and lands right in front of you, waiting for you to look up at him. (This may or may not have happened to me with Charlie Brand from Miniature Tigers). But the biggest lesson of all was that these four college-radio typified yet intriguingly different groups came together and proved to be a quadruple-threat in the heart of the Brooklyn's music scene.

The genre-explosion of a night started at 8pm with newcomers Jack and Eliza (unlike Total Slackers, Miniature Tigers, and Bear Hands who are continuing their tour together in many cities throughout North America).

Bear Hands fans first walking into the MHOW might've been confused by Jack and Eliza's intimate setting, the stage only consisting of two chairs, their guitars and tight harmonies. For how young and underground they appear, the NYU and Columbia students (Jack Staffen and Eliza Callahan) have managed to echo bands like Head and the Heart, Band of Horses and Mother Mother; in only minutes they convinced us of their passion for music and each other.

Total Slacker (or @TotesSlacker, their Twitter handle which I totally dig) made up of Tucker Rountree, Zoe Brecher, and David Tassy, and Emily Oppenheimer, performed tracks off their new record Slip Away, which came out on February 2 through Black Bell Records. In black tights and a mustard, yellow mini-skirt with a happy face on it, it's hard to believe that Oppenheimer, on lead vocals, battles with an introverted personality, (something she mentioned after the show). The effortless chemistry between herself, the band and the audience was palpable. .

It wasn't quite clear who the leading band was that evening, though technically Bear Hands was the headliner. But it didn't matter since Miniature Tigers, who have made a subtle transition from psychedelic rockers to indie-pop darlings, managed to handle their own. Frontman, Charlie Brand made an exciting appearance into the crowd during a slower love song. As he serenaded about twenty girls, one by one, he slowly was no longer a leading singer but a man with a microphone, as he blended into the dance party that he subsequently created out of the audience. In their final number, “Sex On The Regular, a disco ball released from the ceiling illuminating the room.

Though Bear Hands’ most recent album Distraction (which is now available for only $7.99 on iTunes) and released off Cantora Records a week before the show, they opened with “What A Drag” from their debut album. Other highlights included the songs “Peacekeeper”, “Agora”, “Giants” (which of course the crowd knew every word), and a refreshing stripped down version of, “Moment of Silence”. Their final song after the encore was “Crime Pays”, a track the crowd had been requesting all night.