The guys over at Seattlest got it right. This is how I wish I’d written my Grizzly Bear review.
So, what did we do this past Friday? Suck down some DAYQUIL and head to Neumo’s. If anything is going to stop the Nag Champa overload it’s a stuffy nose. In typical Seattle fashion though, we arrived just before headliners Grizzly Bear took the stage. We’ve been chewing on their latest album “Yellow House” since it came out last year and still love it – there’s a reason for all the hype besides just a high Pitchfork rating (8.7). We weren’t sure their sound would translate well in a live setting but were happy to be proved wrong. In fact, almost every song we heard (and most of the material was from the new album) sounded huge at Neumo’s. Could this be the best room in Seattle? This band is actually one of the very few that we’ve heard sound better live than in the studio and that's saying a lot. They also did a lot of re-creating onstage with the live versions of their songs and we enjoyed that part of their act the most. Their comparison to the Beach Boys obviously has more to do with their harmonizing (some of the best we've ever heard) than it does their lyrical content; these aren’t songs about girls and surfing. Did they move around a lot? No. These guys get a lot of shit about that and it was noticeable; but if you close your eyes and just listen; this is some of the dreamiest music you’ll ever hear. Nobody was there to dance anyway. They could be labeled a bit “folky” at times; but different than their album in a good way. We admittedly don’t know much about layering sounds with electronic gadgets and some of the shit they were doing, but these guys can do a hell of a lot with a recorder and a flute and any other instrument they can get their hands on. The live versions of “Knife” and “On a Neck, On a spit” were unforgettable.