Grizzly Bear was born as a bedroom pop project in New York City and went on to widespread acclaim via extensive touring. The quartet headed by Edwin Droste showed both its consummate skill as pop craftsmen and experienced performers at its Barrymore’s show.

The opener was local band Crush Buildings who blend electronica, indie rock and rap in much the same way as Islands (though they predate Nick Diamond’s act). It was an interesting melange.

As The Poets Affirm, another local band, then played a capable set of their Tortoise and Broken Social Scene influenced post rock.

Dave Longstreth has been described as one of the most individual songwriters around, and his band the Dirty Projectors certainly has few precedents (the only one I could think of was Canada’s similarly singular Bob Wiseman, who also has a strident warble and occasionally rabble-rousing lyrical taste).
Longstreth’s music seems to draw from Afropop – the high-pitched, brittle licks played by him and guitarist Amber Coffman sound like the thumb piano riffs transferred to guitar that are the hallmarks of the style. While the melodies were occasionally weird and angular, the band’s rhythms held it all together and went over very well with the audience.

Grizzly Bear’s fame has grown large enough that it attracted a sellout crowd of 300-plus to Barrymore’s.

Droste handed the opening song off to guitarist Daniel Rossen, who provided a luminescent vocal on the opening song. For most bands such a superb entree would be the highpoint of their set, but for Grizzly Bear it was just the kickoff to a magical run through a set that glided through gorgeous vocals harmonies and a majestic sweep of music. The band played most of their smashing new album 'The Yellow House' ('Colorado 'was a highpoint) and threw in an effervescent version of the Crystals’ 'He Hit Me (And It Felt like a Kiss')
The band finished with 'On a Neck, On a Spit' ; there was no encore (although the audience certainly begged for one). A magnificent set, and the best thing I’ve seen so far this year.

Related Links:

Commenting On: Barrymore’s, Ottawa, 5/2/2007 - Grizzly Bear

ie London, England

tick box before submitting comment

First Previous Next Last