This Tuesday at the intimate Mercury Lounge, Bahamas
played a small acoustic set with an incomplete band roster. Leadman Afie Jurvanen sang and played an acoustic guitar with Carleigh Aikins and Felicity Williams singing backing vocals. To strip down songs like this and expose their skeletons would make many bands cower, but Bahamas' blend of surf rock and Americana folk translated beautifully to the small stage. The gracious Jurvanen made a quick connection with the crowd, telling everyone in the room that coming closer would be alright. He apoligized for the lack of a drummer, telling the audience that we were welcome to "use your imagination," but no one needed to. The melodic structures of Bahamas' new album Barchords
were strong enough to carry the quiet set.
The powerful harmonies of Aikins and Williams worked dynamically with Jurvanen's quieter moments, and pop-rockers on the album like "Your Sweet Touch" and "I Got You Babe" were sustained by some seriously apt guitar playing. Screaming electric solos on the album were hacked out with humor on the acoustic stage, and it sounded great. The lead man asked the audience, "If a guy put out an album of just, like, shredding on an acoustic guitar, do you think anyone would buy it?" The answer seemed simple with how convincingly Jurvanen powered through his solos.
The band was confident enough to leave seconds of silence in between verses, and it left the audience hanging on every word. For being the opening band that night, Bahamas did a great job of holding the attention everyone in the room. Bahamas won't be playing in small clubs like The Mercury Lounge for very long. The acoustic show proved how deeply solid Bahamas' material is, and showed the growing potential for this young band's bright future.