Bahamas at Habitat

Toronto’s Bahamas played at the Habitat last night to a highly receptive Kelowna crowd who were immediately won over by his catchy, laid-back and creative brand of rock. Opening act, Vancouver’s Wake Owl provided a welcome acoustic counterpoint and warmed up the mostly still-seated crowd with their soulful indie folk.

Bahamas is the stage name of Afie Jurvanen, a toronto singer-songwriter who has performed with numerous canadian acts over the years, including Feist. His current tour, in support of his recent album “Barchords”, will take him across North America to the UK and Australia by June.

Jurvonen seems like a man who was born to perform. His stage presence and effortless mastery of his guitar held the crowd’s attention for the duration of his hour-and-a-half long set. He was particularly vocal in his appreciation for the hardy souls that had turned out for a late show on a wednesday night, and showered the audience with praise. That praise was gleefully reciprocated. Never crowd-shy, Bahamas even seized an opportunity to teach the audience a little something about concert etiquette when, halfway through, he grabbed a phone from a woman in the front row (see photo below). He played off the moment brilliantly, taking what might otherwise have come off as an abrasive act and carefully weaving it into the rapport between performer and fan. He mused about putting his number into the device and made a few playful jokes about “sexting” before getting right back into his groove without missing a beat. He was on: a broadly-smiling miscreant breaking down the fourth wall with a wrecking ball of bonhomie.

There is a lot of buzz surrounding Bahamas: his single “Caught Me Thinking” can be overheard in coffeeshops and bars across the country. He certainly didn’t disappoint Kelowna. Was it the catchy melodies? The sequined backup singers? Or his devil-may-care charm? Probably all of the above. The two-song encore won’t have been enough to satisfy, but this tale of requited love should have a happy ending, as the performer seemed enthused about the prospect of returning to the Okanagan, vowing to coming back.

If and when he does return, he and his entourage will be welcomed with open arms, as they provided Kelowna with one of its best shows so far this year.

Thanks, Bahamas: hope to see you again soon.

 


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