Changes, novelty and sound fashions are more at hand nowadays in music than even before. Sound and style tendencies come and go so fast that it is almost a sure bet that a novelty band will soon be forgotten after a couple of months. So keeping track and an eye on what kind of music will stay in your head forever is hard to tell.
Yet again, great music can come from anywhere and rooted from unexpected sources, so opening your ears is worth the risk. The same goes for venues; you never know which one will be kept alive by its audience. With all the technology and knowledge available, places for live shows are popping out of nowhere and dividing people into mixed opinions.
So when this writer’s chance to go and see Grizzly Bear at an unknown location such as the Auditorio Blackberry as the first show of the year, needless to say – expectations were high. It’s no common occurrence that such a talented band, which somehow mixes the feel and influence from the ambiance of now classic acts such as Radiohead and the masterful vocal textures of Crosby Stills Nash & Young, steps out into the limelight. If the live show could be half as good as their studio work, this would be the best way to start the concert season.
Grizzly Bear‘s “Yet Again”
With an opening act that keeps the traditional ways of one of México’s richest states, culturally speaking, Los Cojolites made the entire audience dance to the sound of guitars, footsteps, drums and cow skulls representative of Veracruz’ eclectic Grammy nominated group. And barely an hour later, Droste and company stepped into the stage kind of shy, followed by a loud roar from the public, surprised by the way they were welcomed on their first show ever in the country.
Shyness aside, Grizzly Bear kicked off their longest set to date with Speak In Rounds, Adelma and Sleeping Ute. Little by little coming out of their shells, a few Spanish phrases and thank yous were sent back to the crowd by the band, storytelling the origin of some of their songs and how they were marveled by the acceptance of their music around the world.
Mayhem came almost immediately, when Yet Again blasted on the wood and brick walls and ceiling of the Auditorio. The same happened during While You Wait For The Others and Two Weeks. But the most intimate moment of the night came during their encore, when a special and complete silence was asked inside the venue, so an acoustic rendition of Sun In Your Eyes could be played and clapped along.
And so, after 19 tracks full of vocal harmonies with no special effects or giant screens, with just light and music, a wonderful night came to an end. If only four albums can separate a band with potential from some of the most genially crafted songs of the last few years, then we need to keep an eye on Grizzly Bear. Their live show just showcases how much more from some of the purest music nowadays lies underneath their shyness.
Who would’ve thought changes could be so special?
Written by Jorge A. López Mendicuti
OurVinyl | Senior Writer & Photographer