San Diego Radio Sucks Quite A Bit

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

10 Days 'til Coachella - Grizzly Bear

I remember the realization that we would have to split Grizzly Bear's set back in 2010.  For those of you who have been to the festy, you probably know this drill.  You have at least 2-3 times during a weekend where you have to either completely skip a band you really want to see, or you have to catch half of that act and half of another one.

A lot of times, we're so buried in a crowd we'll just say fuck it and sorrowfully accept that we're making the Sophie's Choice of the night (this invariably happens after the sun goes down).  2010 was an especially bad year for choosing, and actually this day, Friday, was one of the worst ever (see also, we had to choose between Fever Ray vs. Public Image Ltd. vs. Deadmau5).

I made sure to catch Gil Scott-Heron's set, and as it turned out, it was one of his last, god rest his amazing soul.    In order to do that, we had to cut The Specials short.  Next, I wanted to make sure we got to check out Pretty Lights, the first time I could remember true downtempo rocking the Sahara tent (and man, did it).

Finally, we made it to Grizzly Bear, about halfway through.  The tent was packed to the gills, and I remember being completely blown away by the attendance.  I had no idea that a group that is kind of known for doing more mellow stuff could be such a draw in the desert darkness.

And then the perfect four-part harmonies hit.

And then they started trading off strange and wonderful instruments between songs.

And then the roar of the crowd I'd first heard when I entered the tent made more sense.

Seeing these guys live is like, well, let me put it this way.  If you're a religious person, you've probably been told stories about some holy tome.  Let's say, the bible.  Miracles happening and all that.  I'd compare hearing or reading those stories to listening to one of their albums - fulfilling, but not life-altering.

When you watch them live, it's like the sky has opened up and some great force has entered you, destroying all expectations and leaving your psyche vivisected.

We tried to catch them at Belly Up in Solana Beach a few years ago, and we flaked on getting tickets long enough that it sold out.  That should have been a clue that they were such a force to be reckoned with in a live setting.

1 comment:

bereweber said...

I am enjoying your reviews! I wish I can go back to Coachella one day! Sorry I am going to miss it again this year, the line-up sounds wonderful, enjoy!