Live Review: Grizzly Bear
Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, 21/10/2012
Only a few short months ago, I was sat crammed into a tiny (and uncomfortable) wooden chair in the Butterworth Hall hunched over my Film Studies exams. Last night I got to have a much more positive experience by watching one of my favourite bands perform onstage there. Swings and roundabouts…
Even though me and my friend Katie were perched up on the balcony, we had a great high-angle view of the stage as Villagers got the evening started brilliantly. I was completely blown away by the Dublin group, having never heard their music beforehand. The gutsy bellowing and fiery passion of Conor J. O’Brien was akin to standing in the wake of a hurricane, especially on such frenetic performances of The Bell and The Waves. Villagers did such a sterling job, they left to tumultuous applause, and the night almost took on a battle-of-the-bands quality as I began to question whether or not Grizzly Bear would be able to top such an opening.
As it turned out, the Brooklyn band put in a much more controlled performance: less moody and atmospheric, but with a charged sense of drive and theatricality. After the thunderous Speak In Rounds, several rows of lanterns (resembling golden, glowing jellyfish) floated up and down at the back of the stage, pulling their own freaky shapes during the funky thump of Cheerleader and a lovely rendition of Gun-Shy.
Although there were a few issues with sound (something I’m told is a common problem at Butterworth Hall concerts), the lighting of the show was a performance in itself: watching the spindly figure of Ed Droste cavorting around the stage in explosions of retina-singing light was quite something. But the leader of the pack for the night was clearly Daniel Rossen, whose guitar acrobatics were as nimble and impressive in the flesh as they sound on record.
Set highlights included the grandiose light spectacular of the explosive Sun In Your Eyes, and the performance of Ready, Able, which ended in an electrifying final minute of perfect interplay between the band members. After the encore of the slow-burning Knife and a stripped-back version of All We Ask, I was left with a warm feeling of contentment. It’s a shame we couldn’t get standing tickets, but Grizzly Bear put on a solid show, and I now have a new band to follow in Villagers. All in all, a pretty cracking evening!
Set The Tigers Free // Home // The Bell // Becoming A Jackal // Nothing Arrived // My Lighthouse // The Waves // Passing A Message // Earthly Pleasure
Speak In Rounds // Adelma // Sleeping Ute // Cheerleader // Lullabye // Yet Again // Shift // A Simple Answer // Gun-Shy // Ready, Able // I Live With You // Foreground // While You Wait For The Others // What’s Wrong? // Two Weeks // Half Gate // Sun In Your Eyes. Knife // All We Ask.