Grizzly Bear

The quartet's perf was charming for its introspective stillness, rich harmonies and sparkle of color.

With:
Band: Christopher Bear, Ed Droste, Daniel Rossen, Chris Taylor.
Also appearing, Here We Go Magic.

Grizzly Bear, the Brooklyn-based band whose second album “Veckatimest” has not only thrilled mainstream and online critics, but dominated watercooler chatter among the indie rock set, approaches the concert stage with a nonchalance completely in character with its music. The quartet’s 75-minute performance was charming for its introspective stillness, rich harmonies and the occasional sparkle of color; the dynamics one associates with a rock show, however, are nonexistent.

Inspired by ’60s and ’70s acts that emphasized precision in arrangements and maintained an air of naivete, Grizzly Bear heads to a dreamy extreme in which the subtlest punch of melody has the effect of fireworks. Its show forsakes the off-kilter use of instruments that add left-hand turns to the middle of so many of its songs, choosing instead to emphasize the serenity of layered harmony vocals. The simple repeated piano chord that opens the tune “Two Weeks,” in itself not out of the ordinary, was so different from the sounds in the concert’s previous 45 minutes it had a jarring effect.

Few acts so eloquently reflect their influences without sounding like their predecessors; it’s the ideas that were at the core of America, and the density in Phil Spector’s sound, that are employed by Grizzly Bear. That ability to pick and choose riffs, textures and tricks from pop and rock’s past with no adherence to any canon is driving so-called indie rock right now; no other act has excelled like Grizzly Bear at using hi-fi of the ’60s in a modern lo-fi setting.

Part of the appeal of “Veckatimest,” which sold 33,000 copies during the week after its June 5 release, opening at No. 8, is its breeziness and the use of collage, which add drama through the voicing of instruments such as the banjo. Friday’s concert lacked that, with its emphasis squarely on the shine and shimmer of the human voice, the instrumental accompaniment humming along with the modesty of a demo tape.

The band also added a show at  the Troubadour on Saturday that quickly sold out. The L.A. shows were among its last before appearing at a string of festivals around the world, among them the Williamsburg Waterfront fest in Brooklyn on Aug. 30.

Grizzly Bear

Wiltern Theater; 2,000 capacity; $25 top

Production: Presented by Live Nation. Reviewed June 19, 2009.

Cast: Band: Christopher Bear, Ed Droste, Daniel Rossen, Chris Taylor.
Also appearing, Here We Go Magic.

More Scene

  • John Cena Ferdinand

    'Ferdinand' Director on Why John Cena Was Perfect for Title Role

    Grizzly Bear, the Brooklyn-based band whose second album “Veckatimest” has not only thrilled mainstream and online critics, but dominated watercooler chatter among the indie rock set, approaches the concert stage with a nonchalance completely in character with its music. The quartet’s 75-minute performance was charming for its introspective stillness, rich harmonies and the occasional sparkle […]

  • Asian-American Unforgettable Awards 2017

    'Westworld's' Leonardo Nam Says Seeing Asian Actors in ‘Star Wars’ ‘Feels Normal’

    Grizzly Bear, the Brooklyn-based band whose second album “Veckatimest” has not only thrilled mainstream and online critics, but dominated watercooler chatter among the indie rock set, approaches the concert stage with a nonchalance completely in character with its music. The quartet’s 75-minute performance was charming for its introspective stillness, rich harmonies and the occasional sparkle […]

  • Mark Hamill'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

    'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Honors Late Carrie Fisher at Elaborate Premiere

    Grizzly Bear, the Brooklyn-based band whose second album “Veckatimest” has not only thrilled mainstream and online critics, but dominated watercooler chatter among the indie rock set, approaches the concert stage with a nonchalance completely in character with its music. The quartet’s 75-minute performance was charming for its introspective stillness, rich harmonies and the occasional sparkle […]

  • Conan O'Brien Children's Defense Gala

    Kate Hudson, Conan O'Brien Attend Children's Defense Fund Gala: 'Some of You Literally Dodged Fire to Get Here'

    Grizzly Bear, the Brooklyn-based band whose second album “Veckatimest” has not only thrilled mainstream and online critics, but dominated watercooler chatter among the indie rock set, approaches the concert stage with a nonchalance completely in character with its music. The quartet’s 75-minute performance was charming for its introspective stillness, rich harmonies and the occasional sparkle […]

  • Ajit Pai Free Speech

    FCC Chair Plays for Laughs at D.C. Event Amid Fierce Net Neutrality Debate

    Grizzly Bear, the Brooklyn-based band whose second album “Veckatimest” has not only thrilled mainstream and online critics, but dominated watercooler chatter among the indie rock set, approaches the concert stage with a nonchalance completely in character with its music. The quartet’s 75-minute performance was charming for its introspective stillness, rich harmonies and the occasional sparkle […]

  • GQ Men of the Year Awards

    Stars Reflect on 2017 at GQ's Men of the Year Party: 'This Is a Year of Cultural Revolution'

    Grizzly Bear, the Brooklyn-based band whose second album “Veckatimest” has not only thrilled mainstream and online critics, but dominated watercooler chatter among the indie rock set, approaches the concert stage with a nonchalance completely in character with its music. The quartet’s 75-minute performance was charming for its introspective stillness, rich harmonies and the occasional sparkle […]

  • 29Rooms LA

    Demi Lovato, Margot Robbie, Janelle Monáe Celebrate Art Carrying Out 'Positive Change' at 29Rooms LA

    Grizzly Bear, the Brooklyn-based band whose second album “Veckatimest” has not only thrilled mainstream and online critics, but dominated watercooler chatter among the indie rock set, approaches the concert stage with a nonchalance completely in character with its music. The quartet’s 75-minute performance was charming for its introspective stillness, rich harmonies and the occasional sparkle […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content