Concert Review

The Bunny The Bear Let Loose @ The Smiling Moose Pittsburgh

Written By: Valerie Wallach

Frankly, I had no clue what to expect when I headed to “The Bunny The Bear” show this Tuesday night, January 21. My only prior knowledge of the band was that these two guys from Brooklyn have been shocking critics with overtly eclectic jams that blend elements of heavy metal, electronic, and pop music—a combination that seemed nearly inconceivable. Oh, and, I heard they wear plastic bunny and bear masks? Uhh, what? I was a little skeptical about the concept overall. But…clearly there’s a ‘but’ brewing here, so I’ll admit it. The Bunny The Bear put on one hell of a show.

Donning their animal masks, Matthew Tybor “The Bunny” and Chris Hutka “The Bear” came out with raging energy to a small but loyal crowd. The opening song “In Like Flynn” from their latest album Stories displayed evident techno influences with a colorful beat, while Tybor’s shrill, piercing screams were the perfect contrast to Hutka’s low, guttural vocals. And with that, The Bunny The Bear was let out of its cage. Fans in the audience—frequently sporting bunny ears themselves—were thrilled to hear “Lonely” from 2012’s album The Stomach For It as well as “Aisle” from 2011’s If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say… Feverish dancing quickly turned into moshing as this distinctive crowd worshiped the band’s unusual style. “Hey, Allie”—a tune also from their new album Stories—began on a soft, melancholy note that ascended into a robust back-and-forth screaming match of sorts. “Pale Green Eyes,” “It’s A Long Way from the Esophagus to the Ovaries” (such an amusing title), and “Ocean Floor” continued to delight. Hutka even hopped down from the stage to rave amongst the crowd a few times, as Tybor appealed: “I wanna see your sexy bodies moving.”

In general, The Bunny The Bear style is sort of like a dark, violent—possibly ironic?—twist to the 80’s electro-pop craze. Each song is equally energetic and catchy. The “vocals,” to me, were mostly inaudible grunts, but I suppose that suits the whole “bear”/nature concept. Still, the band’s stage presence was undoubtedly strong, and the show was a blast for all. Closing out with “So Smooth,” Hutka and Tybor brought their ‘A’ game on vocals using an intense amount of carnal power and feeling with every syllable. The Bunny The Bear are slowly climbing the music industry food chain and wreaking havoc wherever they go. I’d certainly recommend checking them out—particularly in concert—whenever you get the chance.