Thursday, March 21, 2013

Concert Review: The Last Bison at Kilby Court

Posted By on March 21, 2013, 11:21 AM

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“This crowd has been proven worthy of a good little gypsy rag,” The Last Bison frontman Ben Hardesty said mid-set, addressing Kilby Court's small, yet enthralled audience. Hardesty cracked jokes with the crowd as if old friends and family members were present … oh, wait, they were.---

The seven-member band didn’t stumble across each others’ energetically harmonized voices and instruments out of the blue (although their attire might lead you to believe they stumbled out of the Colonial era.) No, the band is filled with folks who firmly believe in the strength of the familial. Hardesty stands next to sister Annah and father Dan, three childhood friends and Annah’s boyfriend, Amos.

While all seven members and countless instruments packed Kilby’s compact stage Wednesday night, the small space wasn’t about to prevent them from an energetic show. The warm laughs that filled the venue throughout the night make it easy to say that they’re a tight-knit group, as well as extremely capable of making outsiders feel right at home.

Performing songs from their debut album Quill, the band swung back and forth and jammed hard (not to mention that there also was the swinging of Hardesty’s long, golden ponytail).

Dressed in ankle-length flowing skirts, Annah and violinist Teresa Totheroh's swaying and performing seemed effortless. And attire for the guys? All four dressed in sharp, yet old-fashioned button-up vests over Colonial-esque shirts.

Smashing of the bass drum, strings of the cello and rings of the bells charmed the crowd -- a unique chamber-folk vibe. The Hardesty’s voices weren’t the only ones heard, as Kilby attendees sang along to popular hits performed like “Switzerland” and “Dark Am I.”

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Despite the number of fans who filled the venue, the whistling and heavy clapping following each song did not disappoint.

After playing four or five songs that had guys and gals emulating bobble-heads, Hardesty continued his praising of this particular audience. “I want to do something we only do for some crowds,” Harding announced.

Under the band’s enchanting energy, toe-tapping bobble heads were instructed to mirror a move and cheer a chant. And without hesitation, a giggling bunch danced in unison and belched “Hep!” throughout their next song.

Positive and upbeat vibes swept the room all night, as the alternative folk family rocked the stage with impressive alternate time signatures and a never-before-recorded song.

The Last Bison evoke a different era and sound that guarantee a promising, worthwhile time.

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Melanie Holbrook

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