photos by Dominick Mastrangelo, words by Andrew Frisicano
The summer of Governors is almost at an end. If you haven't gotten to the island yet, there are two more free chances this weekend - with Neon Indian headlining Saturday and Dr. Dog on Sunday. Beyond that, Governors Island has a number of ticketed shows coming up: Rick Ross/P Diddy on August 22nd and Rock the Bells on August 28th, John Prine on September 10th and Panda Bear on September 11th.
Grizzly Bear, who played one of last summer's most memorable outdoor shows (and played a Williamsburg Waterfront show earlier this year), headlined the Beach on Thursday (8/12). The night's drizzly rain was an exception to the summer's remarkably hot and dry weather, but the spotty light rain, which started during the Walkmen's opening set, didn't spoil the show. Grizzly Bear's first move was a massive song ("Showcase") that opened with an attention-getting roar. From there the band worked through their catalogue, giving songs like "Southern Point," "Knife" and "Fix It" a nuanced and dynamic reading. Grizzly Bear is all about contrast, and the band's ability to go from a whisper to face-shaking heights is felt on a literal level during their live show (especially when they play a big stage with a view, like at the Beach). Going at full thrust, the band seemed to be playing to the skyline across the water.
For the Walkmen, the rain provided a cinematic backdrop to their set, which included new album songs like "Blue as your Blood, "Angela Surf City" and "Stranded," and a guest brass quartet. The Walkmen dealt in contrasts too, but with a more even keel. Singer Hamilton Leithauser stood with one hand in pocket before exploding into a yelped chorus, the band swelling up behind him.
Though the Walkmen were the only band with a new album set for release, Gang Gang Dance frontwoman Liz Bougatsos announced that her band's first two songs - extended jams both - were new ones. About the second song's strange sampled interlude that sounded like flute squeezed through an AM radio, Bougatsos quipped, "Do you guys know that TV show Taxi?" The band stretched their four Ibiza-meets-dub songs across a forty-minute set (really made for a headlining slot). "It's a full moon tonight," said Bougatsos, looking through the clouds.
More pictures from Thursday night's sold out (despite competing with a free Deerhunter gig) show, and a video and GB's setlist, below...
Gang Gang Dance
and from Lollapalooza:
Grizzly Bear Concert at Governors Island, New York, NY, USA Setlist on August 12, 2010 (can anyone confirm this?)
2. Southern Point
5. Little Brother (Electric)
6. Fine For Now
8. Two Weeks
9. Ready, Able
10. I Live With You
12. While You Wait For The Others
13. On A Neck, On A Spit
14. Fix It