I had been hearing the hype on Grizzy Bear’s Veckatimest all year long. After being force fed tracks like ‘Cheerleader’ and ‘Two Weeks’ for months upon end, I wasn’t quite convinced of all the hullabaloo. Then I saw them perform at the Central Presbyterian Church in Austin, TX at SXSW this year and I became a believer. Having the foresight to arrive at the church a good three performances before the show, I was one of the lucky disciples to make it in. Inside this cozy little chapel, we all sat silently and squished in our pews anxiously awaiting what would be our first full drink of their forthcoming album, Veckatimest.
The band, and the setting, did not disappoint. Not by a long shot. Watching the band at the altar, with the setting sun glowing through the stained glass windows while the angelic harmonies of Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen floated up through the arches of the church was both heavenly and transcendental. I had goosebumps the entire time. I was especially moved during the track ‘Ready, Able’. Something about the haunting orchestral arrangement of that song just gets me every single time. It’s by far my favorite on the album and the refrain, “They go we go, I want you to know,what I did” has been permanently etched in my brain.
That performance was the highlight of SXSW and one of my most memorable so far this year. And hearing the album unfold in all of it’s haunting beauty, beyond the chamber pop appeal of tracks like ‘Two Weeks’, made me a convert. It is really that good and entirely worthy of the praise, and your attention.
Grizzly Bear will be performing two nights at The Fillmore in San Francisco this month, June 21 and 22, with Here We Go Magic. A great line up. Get tickets while they last.