Tuesday, June 9, 2009

[LIVE REVIEW] Grizzly Bear in Milwaukee 6/8

I'm conflicted about my opinion of last night's Grizzly Bear show. On the one hand, and probably the more important hand, the music was impeccable, the band showcased an amazing level of musicianship and talent, and I was blown away by the sounds coming out of the speaker. On the other hand, the show itself wasn't that memorable; the guys smiled maybe twice, there was little to no movement on stage, and they just didn't seem that into it. But we'll start with the first hand:

The setlist was heavy on songs from recently-released Veckatimest, and it was a smart choice, as tracks like "Ready, Able," "Southern Point" and the impeccable "Two Weeks" were outstanding in the live setting. Grizzly Bear does an outstanding job recreating the album in a live setting, with all the dense textures and layers that come with it.

Chris Bear was especially notable on drums, I just couldn't stop watching him all night. Same goes with Daniel Rossen and his guitar work. Beautiful tone.

Now to the other hand. I think this quote from another review says a lot:

"(Grizzly Bear) leaves almost nothing to chance—at this point, the New York quartet is so practiced and disciplined it can probably go days or even weeks on the road without being thrown off script." - Express Milwaukee

I know this may not be a popular opinion, but this is what kind of disappointed me about the show. When I go to a concert I want to see something special, something unique to that night that came out of spontaneity and chance. The only time that happened last night was when someone yelled "Fuck yeah!" during show closer "He Hit Me" and the band broke into smiles. Everything was just a little too pre-planned for my taste, and they went about it in such a business-like manner, without much excitement or energy, that I just left feeling a little underwhelmed.

But I shouldn't complain, seeing a band perform songs from my favorite album of the year, and perform them with such talent, is a rare opportunity and I'm glad I was there. Thoughts?

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