Every day of the year seems like the perfect day to attend a live show consisting of high-energy indie dance music and talented musicians, but Valentine’s Day was particularly ideal. Maybe it was the romance in the air, or the flow of copious amounts of adult beverages, but – along with the outstanding music – it was more likely a result of the palpable sexual energy in the air that made Bear Mountain’s show at Commonwealth exceptionally intoxicating.

Mark Mills kicked off the night, captivating the crowd with his androgenic showmanship and modern, funky take on ‘80s pop tunes. It was clear at the beginning that the crowd didn’t quite know what to make of Mills, as a Calgarian artist who is just beginning to make a name for himself. But slowly, as he showcased his natural charisma and talent, he commanded their attention and had them dancing by the conclusion of his set.

Bear Mountain took the stage next with two guitars, two laptops, a keyboard and a drum set. These four humble guys from Vancouver B.C. dish out up-tempo indie dance tunes that take on electronic and occasional hip hop vibes.

“We try to create music that we would want to listen to,” says lead singer Ian Bevis in a short interview before the show. “The way I write music is with the beat or cords first and then the lyrics and other instruments follow. Our goal is just to make people dance.”

And dance they did. Girls were falling over themselves to get closer to the stage, while whipping out their best dance moves in hopes of meeting an appropriate suitor for the night. Men in the crowd then joined the ladies, making it a jam-packed indie dance floor.

Although the night showcased a total lack of self control from many love-struck couples, both artists – with their energetic stage presence and ridiculously groovy dance tunes – made the night unmistakably joyous and surely made a fan out of many newcomers who had never previously had the pleasure of indulging in Mark Mills or Bear Mountain.

By Kayla Beattie
Photos by Kayla Beattie

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