Monday, November 23, 2009

"If it's all or nothing, then let me go..."

On Sunday September, 27th my roommate Jo and I went to the Metro to see one of my new favorite bands, Grizzly Bear I knew a handful of songs prior to their current album, Veckatimest, but it was this release that hooked me. I was counting down the days to this show. I couldn’t wait.

The opening band was called Beach House and they formed in Baltimore. I had not heard of them before. They were good, but nothing that made me a super fan. Singer Victoria Legrand's voice is really pretty. She also did some backing vocals on Veckatimest. One of the songs I really liked though was “Heart of Chambers”:

While Beach Hose was playing I noticed there were these Mason jars hanging and during the break the crew put out more jars around the front of the stage. I was excited to see what they would do, my guess was light up…ding, ding, ding. I was right.

When the band took the stage the crowd was ready to go and as they started in on the first song, “Southern Point,” I knew it was going to be a good show.

They played a solid mix of songs from both albums. From Yellow House they did “Lullabye,” “Knife,” “Colorado,” and “On A Neck, On A Spit.” From Veckatimest they did “Cheerleader,” “Fine For Now,” “I Live With You,” “Ready, Able,” “Foreground,” “While You Wait For The Others,” and “Two Weeks” where Victoria joined them (she does the backing “ahhh ahhh ahhh” part during the chorus). They came out for the encore and only did one song, “Fix It.”

I fell so in love with the Mason jar lighting concept that I want to make a chandelier type one for my house…well my house someday. Sigh. They used those light bulbs that have the wire coils you can see. It gave it this very old timey feel, which I like. In fact that is how I feel about Grizzly Bear’s music. It’s has this real old timey feel but done in a modern way. It is absolutely beautiful.

They guys put on a great live show. Their music is so enchanting it puts you in a trance. They don’t move around a lot or go on with a ton of banter, but they are engaging. I was so impressed by their live show I was a bit bummed I wasn’t going to see their second show on the 28th. But I knew I had one more chance to see them this year the following weekend at the Austin City Limits Festival. I just had to wait one week…guess it is better than waiting two. :)


“Two Weeks”

“While You Wait For The Others”

There is an official video for this song, but I love this live performance of it.

“Ready, Able”

Fun Fact: One of Jo’s friends represents the director/creator of this video, Allison Schulnik

Hmm I liked the lighting too but I thought they were super boring in concert. Sounded like crappy emo to me. Oh well!
I had a friend who also thought their show was boring. I could see that, no crazy dance party to be had. Even though their music is emotional, I can’t classify it as emo. To me emo will always be Dashboard Confessional circa 2002. Or there needs to be more boyliner involved:
Grizzly Bear is just another Brooklyn based hipster band…which I can’t knock since I love so many of them.

I also am a sucker for vocal harmonies and music that have that Tin Pan Alley quality. Nerd confession time: I read a lot of non-fiction books set in the late Victorian and Edwardian time periods and while reading these books, I feel Grizzly Bear and Daniel Rossen’s other band, Department of Eagles, albums make perfect soundtracks for books about the Gilded Age. So this is why I may have an attachment. Or that I have a huge crush on Chris Taylor. Swoon.
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