photos by Kyle Dean Reinford
Thursday night (2/26), Sufjan Stevens and Shara Worden joined members of The National (Clogs) and Arcade Fire (Bell Orchestre) on stage with the Brooklyn Philharmonic at BAM.
Two nights later (2/28), members of the National joined Grizzly Bear (headliner) and Final Fantasy (opener and sometimes member/contributor to Arcade Fire) on the same stage with the same orchestra. Nico Muhly, who contributed arrangements to the show and to Grizzly Bear's new album, was on stage playing piano during both sets as well.
Members of Beirut, who played their own two shows at the same venue a few weeks earlier (but with their own orchestra), could be spotted in the indie-rocker heavy audiences at both the Clogs/BO and FF/GB shows. All this collaboration and support between the current group of popular "indie" artists is commonplace (especially in Brooklyn), and there's no better representation of that than the recently-released National members-curated Dark Was the Night compilation which pretty much everyone mentioned in this post so far (except the Philharmonic) contributed at least one song to. I'm still anxiously awaiting more news of the ultimate live representation of Dark Was the Night in the form of a concert at Radio City Music Hall. Speaking of which, that's where Dark Was the Night contributor David Byrne was playing for the 2nd night in a row on the same night as Grizzly Bear.
So, how was Saturday night? I thought It was great. Final Fantasy opened the show....
Mr. Pallett, who hails from a classical background, was in his element, if not his comfort zone. Many of his songs reflect orchestral dimensions, including "Horsetail Feathers," which required little reinvention, and "Arctic Circle," which led to a coda packed with chromatic suspense. The two newer pieces that closed his set were marked by pungent but graceful touches: a suggestively smudged viola part, a twitchy line for violins.Grizzly Bear came up next and even impressed the people who had never heard of either band that were sitting all around me ("Grizzly Bear can sing!") (BAM subscribers?). Grizzly Bear played a mix of old and new songs, some for the first time live, and many of them with the orchestra. Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen have such different voices, and write such different songs, but somehow they mash it all together and it becomes Grizzly Bear. More than ever it seems the two front-men are collaborating - singing at the same time, or back and forth. Ed also seems to be letting his voice out in a gothier, Depeche Mode/Dead Can Dance/Antony-like direction that I liked a lot. I can't wait to hear the new album. More pictures, a video and the setlist from the show, below...
Usually, though, Mr. Pallett practices an art of accretion, looping his own violin and keyboard parts to create chamber-pop arrangements in real time. Without that hint of sorcery, his performance felt almost ordinary. And because he isn't a forceful or particularly magnetic singer, he sometimes sounded overwhelmed by the pomp... [NY Times]
Grizzly Bear play Deep Blue Sea, the first of two encores sans the Brooklyn Philharmonic at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The song is a new full-band version that the band's drummer Chris Taylor says is very close to the recording that appears on the new Dark Was The Night charity compilation. Shot by Stuart Rogers. [lofi.tv]Grizzly Bear selist
2. Central and Remote
3. Ready, Able
4. Two Weeks
8. Little Brother
11. While you wait for the Others
13. Deep Blue Sea
14. He Hit Me