Ever since seeing these guys open for Feist, we’ve been intruiged by Grizzly Bear. They are one of those rare bands whose live shows far outweigh the quality of their album, so they always leave you wanting more. They didn’t disappoint at Pearl Street, although I wouldn’t consider the venue a good match for their music…they are more of an Iron Horse, sit- down -and listen to kind of band. The name conjures up mean, angry animals who steal your camping food…but these guys are more Teddy than Grizzly.
Opening for them was Beach House, a duo whose music brings to mind a ghost from the 1960’s searching the shore for her lost love (guess that’s where the “beach house” title would fit). And with as much “cool new band” exposure as Grizzly Bear has been getting, they were completely humble about it and hung out with everyone during the Beach House perofmance. When Chris and I were having a drink next door before the show, we saw the guys from Grizzly Bear wander past the window and take the “common people” entrance into Pearl Street. They even worked the CD/T-Shirt booth and joked around with the sound guys.
When it was their time to shine, they walked up on stage and thanked Beach House profusely.I can’t say enough of how Grizzly Bear’s live shows put their album to shame. The album is subdued, with ukeleles and pianos. The live shows have more of an edge, with electric guitars and glockenspiels (sp?). Their music is hard to explain, but it’s emotions and right-on-target group melodies that conjure up thoughts of Simon and Garfunkel and the Grateful Dead mixed with the Beach Boys. Super good stuff. Favorite songs were “Little Brother”, “Fix it” and “On a Neck, on a Spit”. There was even a great acapella version of an old sea shanty.
I hope Grizzly Bear will stay as humble as they were at this live show, even after playing at Coachella and receiving lots of under-the-radar buzz. I hope they’ll come back again sometime, too.