Grizzly Bear – Music Hall of Williamsburg – May 31, 2009June 1st, 2009
It’s been a pretty big week for Grizzly Bear. In addition to releasing Veckatimest, their first full-length album since 2006, the band also performed two shows at Town Hall. While those two previous concerts may have been just across the river, Sunday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg felt like the band’s real hometown show—an intimate, celebratory night for fans and friends to cheer the group on as they prepare to leave our fair borough and head out on a summer tour around the world.
The band’s performance was lit theatrically by colorful lights that evoked the new album’s kaleidoscopic cover art—a mesmerizing and effective complement to Grizzly Bear’s haunting psychedelic-operatic music. Their new material flowed seamlessly along with older songs, and the springy keyboards that open Veckatimest’s “Two Weeks” were greeted by the rapt audience with just as much fanfare as older favorites like “Knife” and “Colorado.” From song to song, as each member intuitively floated among a range of instruments and winding harmonies, the different elements worked together with an almost perplexing precision: Grizzly Bear demonstrated over and over that they are nothing if not razor sharp.
When singer Ed Droste began the percussive double-clap, double-snap breakdown in “Fix It,” the audience seemed all too eager to join in. While our timing may not have been as precise as the men of Grizzly Bear, I’m sure the enthusiasm did our hometown heroes proud, as they finished off their big week with another triumphant performance. —Alena Kastin