Saturday, February 10, 2007

Grizzly Bear w/ Dirty Projectors

Grizzly Bear
Originally uploaded by Nicolemc99.
The Dirty Projectors opened up for Grizzly Bear with a unique set showcasing DP mastermind Dave Longstreth's impressive vocals, which he often pushed to their limits. Having only heard one song before, I wasn't prepared for their odd mix of unstructured rock, funk, lounge and who can say what else. I probably won't be picking up any Dirty Projector albums anytime soon, but I do have to say it was a really interesting performance I'm glad I got to see.

Grizzly Bear, meanwhile, played the tightest, most flawless set I could have possibly imagined they would play. Their music, which can sound flat coming out of my crappy work speakers (my usual listening station), came totally alive in Subterranean, the dense layers of sound wafting all over the room. The male harmonies that often involved all four members sounded amazing, especially during my favorite song (and everyone else's favorite, judging by the number of covers), "Knife," where sounds I would have thought were coming from an instrument were proven to actually be coming from Chris Taylor's mouth. The fantastically repetitive choruses of "Lullabye" and "Colorado" ("Chin Up/Cheer Up" and "What Now/What Now . . . ) echoed beautifully around the room. For the second time in as many shows, I heard a cover of a Crystals' song; while last week Asobi Seksu covered "And Then He Kissed Me" in their signature style, Grizzly Bear followed suit by doing a Grizzly rendition of "He Hit Me (and It Felt Like a Kiss)". The band wrapped the show up sans encore but on a on a huge up note with their most upbeat song, "On a Neck, On a Spit", sending me skipping out the door with the tune in my head. It reminded me that what I love about this band is that they somehow hide these incredible pop melodies under all these thick layers of fuzz, and it makes for something so beautiful.

On a side note, at the end of the show singer Ed Droste told the crowd that drummer Chris Bear, a Chicago native, had his family in the audience, and that after the show we should all do shots with Sue Bear. Best mom name ever.

On a second side note, here's a little Wikipedia history of "He Hit Me . . "; I'd heard of the song but never listened to the lyrics before hearing Grizzly Bear sing them, and I wondered if they were meant to be satirical back in the 60s or not. In true Wikipedia style, the entry already mentions the fact that Grizzly Bear has been covering it live.

Grizzly Bear vs. the Knife: Knife/Heartbeats Weirdly, here's an attempted mashup of two of my favorite songs of the past year, Grizzly Bear's "The Knife" and The Knife's "Heartbeats." I really don't think it works, mostly because I'd rather just hear each song on its own. But you can be the judge.
Dirty Projectors- Imagine It
The Crystals- He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss) Sadly, couldn't find an mp3 of the Grizzly Bear cover, so here's the real thing.


Kirstie said...

Hey Nicole! Great review-I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did though I wish I had been able to say goodbye. Funny about wiki...guess that is to be expected . Oh and I forgot to tell you how excited we are about seeing Menomena, which is all because of you!

Nicole said...

Hooray! Menomena is so great live. Yes, Grizzly Bear was so packed we pretty much got swept out of the venue afterwards!

dominic said...

grizzly bear cover the crystals live on kexp - mp3s at:

Nicole said...

YES! Thank you!