Live Review: Eliza And The Bear – O2 Academy Oxford

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London based Eliza And The Bear recently hit the stage of the Oxford O2 Academy as part of their run of headline shows across the country – and we at TFFT were lucky enough to see the show unfold on stage. After a slightly awkward long wait, the band made a forthright entrance onto the stage and instantly made up for it with a roaring rendition of their summer hit Friends. Given that the single has received so much online and commercial support, it came as no surprise that the crowd were quickly drawn into a rousing chant and high that seemed to go on for the entire set.

When you’re confronted with the question “did you bring some energy with you?” there seems like no other choice than to join in with the spirited buzz of the night, it has to be said that these five guys certainly do not shy away from having fun on stage – questionable dance moves included. It was quite clear that Eliza And The Bear had set out to get the most out of the night regardless of whether the crowd followed suit, thankfully their infectious stage presence did get the crowd going and the energy that’d been put into each song was relayed back onto them.

It was great to see that the band hadn’t diluted down the essence of their show to suit a smaller venue; the entire room roared with a big heavy sound which dismissed the size of Oxford’s O2 Academy 2 and would please any festival crowd; the band’s use of horns was a great feature that really drew attention to highlights such as Lion’s Heart and Light It Up. However, the entire night wasn’t just one massive rock out, there was a brief acoustic break where the band treated the audience with a new song from their upcoming record and although it didn’t receive an overwhelming response, fans were encouraging and the show went on to finish on a tremendous high with When It Gets Cold.

Given the atmosphere and the initial wait, it was a bit of a shame that the band played quite a short set, but with a growing fanbase and a great dynamic between them on stage, seeing Eliza And The Bear would definitely make a lively night as long as you’re prepared and bring some energy with you.

Look out for an interview with boys, later this week!

Simi Abidakun