I bought tickets to see Grizzly Bear at First Avenue back when they first when on sale, so I’d be lying if I said the show didn’t sneak up on me a bit. I’d never seen Grizzly Bear live, but had only heard good things, so I was cautiously optimistic as we made our way into First Avenue shortly after the doors opened.
Last night as people were making their way into the club, there was a fun selection of music videos being projected on the big screen that blocks the stage.
Being the old ladies that we are, Victoria and I like to grab one of the few tables available for seating on the upper level of First Ave if possible. This time we grabbed a table on the right hand side of the stage, with a good view of the action below.
The Lower Dens recently took over as the opening act for Grizzly Bear, and it seemed as though maybe they still had a few kinks to work out in their set.
I’ll admit, their set wasn’t my favorite. I couldn’t hear any of the vocals, there was WAY too much reverb, and a lot of their songs sounded the same to me. I realize I’ve been spoiled by some really amazing live shows lately, and I realized it more than ever last night during their set.
Victoria felt the same way about Lower Dens, so we were super stoked when it was finally time for Grizzly Bear to take the stage.
They did not disappoint. In fact, their performance far exceeded my expectations. These guys put on a proper rock show, one that I highly recommend. They were gracious on stage, and the musical/vocal performances were on point.
Add to that an incredible light set up, and you’ve got yourself an amazing show. I can’t emphasize the lights enough, they were beautifully done and really added to the performance rather than detract from it. Victoria, my cute little music nerd, said, “The lights really made me reconsider their music metrically.” I don’t know about all that, but the lights really worked seamlessly with the music itself, adding punch or dialing back as the music required.
Grizzly Bear is currently touring to promote their fourth album, Shields. I just picked up the album this weekend and haven’t spent a lot of time with it, but I do LOVE the first single, Sleeping Ute, which they played (and nailed) early in the show.
I hadn’t heard of Grizzly Bear until the spring/summer of 2009 with the release of their third album, Veckatimest. Actually, I can tell you exactly the moment I first heard their music (the song “Two Weeks”). Victoria and I were having a coffee at the Kickstart Cafe in Columbus, OH and the song was playing in the background. We both stopped our conversation just to listen, and I whipped out my iPhone just in time to “Shazaam” it.
Grizzly Bear deserve all the praise they have been getting – they rock and rock hard. I was really impressed. And on top of that they were incredibly gracious (I’ve never heard a band thank the crowd as much as they did) and included St Paul and the “metro area” in their shout outs, which I appreciated. If they swing through your town on this tour, definitely scoop up some tickets to see them.