Bowerbirds at Lollapalooza 2012 | Photos and music review
A lot happened in the lives of North Carolina's Bowerbirds, fronted by couple Beth Tacular and Phil Moore, between the release of their 2009 record Upper Air and excellent 2012 follow-up, The Clearing. Tacular nearly succumbed to a mysterious illness, which had her in the hospital for a very long time. The two ended their relationship, and then got back together again. And they adopted a stray puppy that ran beneath the wheels of their van. All of these milestones seemed to culminate in a hit of the sonic restart button for the two, as evidenced by the rich, more fleshed-out sounds of their new material that, though souped up with lots of pretty synthesizers, remains representative of the duo's Appalachian roots. And though everyone loves a redemption story, none of that strife or struggle was apparent or even mentioned during today's set on the Sony stage, which kicked off day three of the festivities and day one of the post-Lollapocalypse landscape.
I'm not going to lie: The scene on the south end of the fest is bleak, covered in mud and pink kitty litter and that all-too-familiar vomit stench that seems to seep through the soil each year. Luckily, the Bowerbirds' loveliness provided a brief respite—their tunes peacefully drifting through the crowd along with the cool breezes. "This next number is a dance song," Moore joked as bass thumping from Perry's stage began to infiltrate the scene, midset. Armed with soothing sounds from The Clearing, Upper Air and a new, yet-to-be-named tune, the folk troubadours invited the mud-kid weary into the imagery of their fluttering, acoustic haven, where the grass is green, the ladies wear flowing frocks, and the scent of lavender permeates the air.