Kovacs & the Polar Bear plays a free farewell/reunion show

There have been a lot of phases of Kovacs & the Polar Bear. Phases with long hair and short hair and questionable mustaches. There was probably a phase that only a select few knew about where they played in basements and garages and to house parties of tens. That must have happened because how else could they have burst onto the collective Asheville consciousness at All Go West a handful of years ago, all coiled intensity and folk-rock earnestness?

Kovacs-and-the-Polar-BearBut almost as soon as we got to know them — Nick, Chris, Andy and Joe — they began to morph and stretch into new versions. There was Joe’s side project. There was that fantastic video for “Skeleton Crew” that stole hearts at Music Video Asheville.

AHA AVL presents Kovacs and the Polar Bear from Shuffle Magazine on Vimeo.

And then Chris moved West, and Dane and Casey joined the band. There were tours and albums and hiatuses and a cover of “Twist & Shout” at Bele Chere. There was a Day Trotter session. There have been, more recently, shows with Josh Carpenter on guitar.

20057518-37385139The sad thing is that after all that growth and change and all those moving parts, Kovacs & the Polar Bear is finally calling it quits. Its various members have moved onto other endeavors/cities/countries. (Though — and they might not yet realize it — they’ll be hard pressed to recapture the magic of that All Go West appearance on that rainy April day, circa The Rocket Club).

The happy part is that the band’s final show will also be a reunion with all of its members. “So come see us off (ALL of us) as this chapter ends and the boys move on to other projects, other cities and new phases of their lives,” says a Facebook invite for the show, held at The Grey Eagle on Saturday, April 26, at 9 p.m. “It’s going to be a very special night, not only because it’s the last show: For the first and last time ever, the entire lineup, past and current, including Chris Lee and Joe Chang, will perform as one enormous cacophony of rock.”

Desperate Pilot opens and the show is FREE.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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