Photos by Levi Robson
Typically when the lights go down for a show, a theatrical entrance with bright lights and an epic intro track is what’s expected because that’s what we’ve become accustomed to throughout the concert-going years. Bahamas took a different approach to the entrance to the stage. The lights dimmed and the calming voice of Afie Jurvanen was projected through the Queen E. He prepared everyone for the show while encouraging the audience to put away their cellphones before he began a “good ol’ fashioned countdown,” as he called it, with the lights going up as the crowd hit one.
It’s been four years between 2014’s Bahamas is Afie and their latest album Earthtones, so naturally they’re set was mostly in support of the latest and greatest playing Earthtones in almost its entirety, opening with the summertime feel-good song “So Free.” The stage setup was kept very simple as they played off the idea of Earthtones with matching beige outfits (with the exception of female vocalist, Felicity Williams, which Jurvanen didn’t hesitate to point out was wearing all white), and simple gold lighting in the background. The mellow tempo of the show still got people out of their seats for the older songs like “Caught Me Thinkin’,” “Can’t Take You With Me,” and “All The Time” that catapulted the success of Bahamas, even getting a young man to run to the front of the stage and start dancing, to which the security at the Queen E. shut down very quickly. “It’s a long show, young man don’t worry you’ll get your money’s worth,” said Jurvanen.
The solo during “No Expectations” prompted Jurvanen to hype up the high note at the end of the solo. Not the solo itself, Jurvanen just wanted to make sure people appreciated the high note saying, “You don’t even need a good solo you just need that high note at the end,” to which he repeated it about 3 more times after.
Jurvanen constantly seemed like he was undermining the show or almost taking away the excitement for the crowd telling everything as it is, acting the part of a veteran on-stage saying, “Some are better than others,” after playing the more popular songs in their catalogue. What he did as well was poke fun at “showbiz” complaining about having to go stand off to the side of the stage for ten seconds before coming back for the encore. Back on stage for the encore started with a solo Jurvanen who came out to play an ironically uplifting song about depression called “No Depression.”
The crowd stayed into it until the very end with some classic heckling and one audience member shouting out, “It’s my birthday!” which switched the focus to Felicity as it actually was her birthday which brought a messy and clearly unprepared chorus of the Birthday Song for her, although the execution wasn’t on point, it’s the thought that counts.
For the last song of the night, ‘Any Place,” Jurvanen explained how he was digging around in the back of the Queen E. and came across a half sized “Freddie Mercury” mic stand as he described it. “I know I don’t have the charisma, the body, or the songs to pull this off,” he said, “but I’m going for it anyways.” He ended with a pose holding the mic stand up in the air in a very Mercury-like fashion with the soothing sound that is Bahamas playing in the back, and I have to say, he really did pull it off.