LiveDC: Wire w/ Bear in Heaven
farrah skeiky | Jul 16, 2013 | 2:00PM |
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All words and photos: Farrah Skeiky

There was a huge shift between sets at this Black Cat show. Once Bear in Heaven concluded a surprisingly aggressive performance, easily 75% of audience members under the age of thirty migrated toward the bar, leaving everyone else to huddle forward. It’s clear that Wire are important to each person in the room, but important in different ways. For the younger set, Wire are inherently important because they’re important to almost every band they like, including Bear in Heaven (“Your favorite band’s favorite band,” right?). And while there are certainly some who haven’t heard of one of the two bands, there are kids who came with their parents, and parents dragged along by their kids.

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The Bentzen Ball Presents: Baron Vaughn @ The Kennedy Center Terrace Gallery
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Stand-up comedian Baron Vaughan makes his Kennedy Center debut as part of the Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival. Vaughn is a series regular on Netflix's Grace and Frankie in the role of Bud. He was also on USA Network's Fairly Legal (2010–2012) and has appeared in the films Black Dynamite, Cloverfield, and The Other Guys (Deleted Scenes). As a comedian, he has performed stand-up on Conan (twice), Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Showtime's SXSW Comedy, and Comedy Central's The Half Hour. He's the self-proclaimed "Master of Festivals," most notably having performed in the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival (Aspen), Just for Laughs Comedy Festival (Montreal), South Beach Comedy Festival (Miami), Moontower Comedy Festival (Austin), SXSW Festival (Austin), San Francisco Sketchfest, Bridgetown Comedy Festival (Portland), Vancouver Comedy Festival, Accidental Comedy Festival (Cleveland), Chicago Comedy Exposition, JashFesht (Palm Springs), Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (TN), and Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival (Seattle). Vaughan's recent comedy recording, Blaxistential Crisis, is soon to be released by AST Records. Please Note: This performance is recommended for mature audiences. Performance Timing: 75 minutes, with no intermission.
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Whoever you may have come to see, there’s no doubt you were impressed. Bear in Heaven wowed lifelong Wire fans with sounds that were somehow simultaneously ambient and aggressive, including a new song that might have elicited more dancing than old favorites. And Wire? What’s there to be said about a legendary band who has the guts to return to the stage, and does it well? Sure, there was an iPad present to assist with some of the lyrics. And yes, when prompted to ditch the setlist and play “One Of Us,” Colin Newman agreed that it was time for the song to make a comeback, but it was nowhere near ready.

But the crowd was quick to forgive– and why wouldn’t they be? Wire killed the performance, and for a first time listener, it felt as if it was okay we hadn’t been around for the first round, because this was a merciless and fulfilling show. The eight year old next to me moved away from his dad to be pressed up against a monitor, and oogled Graham Lewis as you’d expect him to do with anyone getting airplay in 2013. He’s a lucky kid. Wire’s return is something to be happy about. No legacies have been shamed, no discographies have been marred: this is a very good thing, and we’re lucky to have been there.

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Bear in Heaven

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