Last Friday's show at the Pheonix in Toronto is one that I will likely never forget. Waiting in line, I hadn't been more ready to see Grizzly Bear up on stage after seeing them open for Radiohead last year. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I knew I was ready for it. It turns out I wasn't ready enough, as Here We Go Magic walks on stage and starts swaying the crowd with the most catchiest of catchiest renditions of "Everything's Big". An opening similar to something off of Dark Side of the Moon. They've got it, you can see it in each and every member of the band. They continue and conclude their set with songs that seem to come from a handful of genres and are very "grizzlesque". "Fangela" and "Tunnelvision" are their closers and they pull them off beautifully. HWGM was one of the best opening bands I've ever seen perform, as they set up the audience for one hell of a night. The four members of Grizzly Bear come on stage and the crowd is roaring like a pack of lions. The set list, in no particular order, as again I cannot quite remember the exact order, was as follows:
Southern Point (a little bit of an extended version packed with energy)
Cheerleader (wonderfully done)
Little Brother (Electric) [they killed this one and at one point I think I melted]
Knife (beautiful as always, with a wonderful tremolo on Chris Taylor's voice)
Fix It (a completely new, and awesome, rendition of the song)
On a Neck, on a Spit
Fine For Now
I Live With You (without saxophone, but who needs saxophone when you've got the lovely interwoven harmonies holding the song together so tightly)
Then as was completely unexpected, Ed Droste invites Leslie Feist onto the stage and they perform Service Bell together, I've never smiled so big. The song's over and the room is filled with the fast beating of each and everyone's heart, and they start Two Weeks. Feist provides backing vocals. I thought I was in a cloud, and they continue.
While You Wait For The Others
He Hit Me
After the show it was clear that they hit us all, and it felt like a kiss, that's the only way to describe how wonderful this entire night was. On par with seeing Animal Collective, on par with falling in love, on par with spending an evening with some truly beautiful music and musicians.
Grizzly Bear - "Cheerleader" (download)