I was over the moon–figuratively. Physically I was at the Brooklyn Academy of Music soaking in a rare coupling: Grizzly Bear and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. The event marked Grizzly Bear’s first performance with an orchestra dedicated to performing alongside of the band (Grizzly Bear has previously shared a bill with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall).
Perhaps the most special parts of the evening for a longtime fan like myself were the songs Grizzly Bear played that they had never performed live before, but that I have savored for years on their albums; namely “Central and Remote,” “Reprise,” and “Plans” (all from Yellow House). “Reprise” was particularly special, given the leading banjo, a fact which Daniel Rossen acknowledged from the stage.
I found “Colorado,” another longtime favorite, to be particularly successful with the orchestral backing. It’s another that you’re not likely to hear the band perform regularly.
Of the new material from the upcoming release Veckatimest, “Foreground” was far and away my favorite, and the Brooklyn Phil did well by it too.
Then Grizzly Bear did something that I wouldn’t suspect given the tone of the evening; they closed the show with The Crystal’s foreboding “He Hit Me.” I don’t think Edward Droste has found a better pairing for his vocals than this diminutive ditty. It just works. I was thrilled.
The boys were looking sharp: Daniel in shiny new shoes visible from row “S,” Christopher Bear in saddle shoes (!) and a handmade black silk bow tie by Julia Ziegler-Haynes, Edward sleek in black jeans and a crisp shirt, and Chris Taylor sporting a new shorter haircut. They’re ready for the big time!
Related links of interest:
- Edward Droste’s Twitter with complete set list
- A bootlegged video of the entire show
- The New York Times wrote a favorable review
- Brooklyn Vegan: mediocre/non-existent writing, lots of nice pics (can you tell BV doesn’t soothe me?!)
- Kudos for the boys from Entertainment Weekly
- A fabulous review for Grizzly Bear that is also generally on point in its description of the evening overall at the Village Voice’s Sound of the City blog