Grizzly Bear

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo by Shelley Hiam

Grizzly Bear

Central Presbyterian Church, Thursday, March 19

While Grizzly Bear's later set was principally responsible for the capacity crowd greeting opener Girls, the San Francisco quartet proved worthy of the slot. The jittery yet soulful vocals spouting ennui over swooning garage chime and jangle were much tighter than the band's slacker aesthetic suggested, especially on closing blog-buzzer "Lust for Life." Canada's Rural Alberta Advantage demonstrated equal promise, if less convincing execution. Nils Edenloff's vocals unloaded a nasally wail but often competed uncomfortably with the massively overwhelming backbeat. The showcase, however, belonged to Grizzly Bear, with the church serving sanctuary to the Brooklyn quartet's intricately mellowed arrangements. Previewing songs from its highly anticipated Veckatimest, the group broke out a loping bassline on new "Cheerleader," which opened the set, followed by the scruffier rhythm of "Little Brother" from 2006's Yellow House. Grizzly Bear's allure springs from its mesmerizing, lava-lamplike harmonies, the floating strands slowly congealing and dripping apart with gently viscous fluidity through "Knife" and bubbling syncopation on "Fine for Now." Equally captivating is the emotion conveyed in the group's melodic chants, giving voice to the un-articulatable in the hesitant longing of "Two Weeks" or the disillusion in its disturbingly beautiful rendition of the Crystals' "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Saturday Showcases
Saturday Showcases

March 20, 2015

Friday Showcases
Friday Showcases
Korea, Japan, Spain, Africa – see the world from single showcases

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Doug Freeman
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
Our favorite albums, videos, and performances

July 3, 2020

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
Here are the sounds we’re consuming

June 26, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Grizzly Bear

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle