ACL ‘09 Photos & Review: Grizzly Bear
I first heard of Grizzly Bear through an ultra hip friend who’d been “listening to them forever” (also known as “since 2006″). As most of his musical romances go, this one too was fickle, so I soon forgot that I’d created a mental note to check the band out after his recommendation. It wasn’t until late last year when I read that Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood called Grizzly Bear his favorite band, that I listened to some of “Yellow House” and realized how good they were. Then earlier this year, I heard “Two Weeks” and discovered their sheer utter awesomeness. After repeatedly and obsessively watching the hypnotic music video for “Two Weeks”, I’ve finally moved on and checked out more of their sound-and yes they truly are consistently amazing. They were also amazing last night live, no easy feat, especially given the rain (check out the photos from their set below) and their stellar performance made me want to buy all their albums. So once I’ve washed my muddy jeans and cleaned off my boots, I’m heading on down to the record store. You should too, that is, if you haven’t already been listening to them forever.
Grizzly Bear Performance Review:
Brooklyn’s Grizzly Bear was on my “to see” list, but admittedly, not at the top. I just could not imagine that their interesting lyrics and beautiful harmonies would be done justice in such the festival setting. Well, Grizzly Bear proved me wrong. The lack of intimacy not only didn’t hinder their performance, but the outdoor setting seemed to allow them and their music the space to really open up and be absorbed. The Saturday show, with a 3pm time slot on the Dell stage, began during a lull in the rainstorms and truly provided the perfect soundtrack to a post-rain, hazy afternoon. It wasn’t until the last 15 minutes of the show, as the keys struck just the right notes and frontman, Ed Droste, with eyes closed to the sky, violently shaking his tambourine, that the rain resumed. And with a dreamy, rock-intense version of their song On a Neck on a Spit, the crowd expanded, absorbing those headed in opposite directions, forcing them to stick around for the band’s last song.