Amidst their tour opening for Radiohead, Grizzly Bear played an (adopted) hometown show in Wiliamsburg, Brooklyn. And watching them in bright lights and right-on sound, all four in a tiny button-downed line (the casual Friday version of Battles), it made us wonder if any band can be Radiohead anymore. Because this was an indie/alternative Dave Matthews Band concert, if not in sound, in wild enthusiasm. They have mega-fans. But do spots on Letterman and an inherent Beatles-esque understanding of mainstream and deviation create superstars any longer? Can anyone other than Bon Jovi play stadiums? When old bands run out like oil, what happens to mainstream festivals in Hartford and Cleveland? Because Grizzly Bear needs their tempered shot, Phil Spector harmonies and awkward white guy faces mopped with really mussy hair making good on their moving-to-New-York-to-make-it promise. The new songs they played were like if the Keds campaign with Misha Barton were a band it would be Grizzly Bear on Saturday night—pretty and simple, lithe but not weightless, classic and colorful.
August 11, 2008