On Saturday night all of swoopy-haired New York converged on the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Howard Gilman Opera House for a grand show of soft rock with Nico Muhly and the Brooklyn Philharmonic playing backup. Final Fantasy opened but we missed him (read about that part here). We did however arrive just in time for the lights to go up on Grizzly Bear, whose music is about as perfectly suited to an opera house as any band to ever grow up in Williamsburg. Their music demands plush velvet seating, ornate mouldings, subtle sconced lighting and perfectly balanced acoustics, not a club where dicks talk constantly while Chris Taylor and Daniel Rossen's eighteen different instruments trudge through muddy speakers and Ed Droste's voice sticks to the ceiling. This was Grizzly Bear as they should be: neo-classical and grandiose, with a respectfully silent audience and a venue attuned to every little pluck and whisper that emanated from their flanneled bodies. To be honest, we're not even sure the orchestra was necessary, though at times, like in the video caught of "Colorado" above, they drove it close to Holyshitsville. This was probably the highlight in a night seemingly designed with a shallow arc, which despite the placid vibes wound up with a standing ovation. Droste and Rossen should just book a regular night at BAM where the former sings arias and the latter jokes about how weird it is that they're doing it. Until then, catch Grizzly Bear all by itself in late spring at Sasquatch and Bonnaroo, right around the release of their new album Veckatimest on May 26th.
March 02, 2009