Grizzly Bear at the Ogden Theatre, 8-6-13 (photos, review)By Mike Long | August 7th, 2013 | 2 comments
Brooklyn’s Grizzly Bear packed the Ogden Theatre on an especially busy music night in town. This happens a few times a year in Denver; too many bands, often playing shows on the same night as acts pass our way after large music events like SXSW, Coachella and last weekend’s Lollapalooza.
Apologizing early and often for not playing Colorado for six years, a new, improved five-piece Grizzly Bear played a captivating 90-minute set on Tuesday night. Throughout the set, the youngish audience looked quite rapt with the band’s morphing, harmonic indie-rock.
An early highlight was vocalist/frontman Ed Droste’s voice on “Colorado,” the first of many impressive vocal moments, along with “Yet Again.” For all the deserved talk about Grizzly Bear’s pitch-perfect harmonies and vocal prowess, the musicians play as well as they sing, particularly drummer Christopher Bear. There were few extended instrumental segments, but they were well-executed and well-timed.
Still, the crowd and the band smoldered more than caught fire until the final third of the show. The crowd’s energy, as one would expect, picked up suddenly upon hearing the opening piano riff of “Two Weeks.” It continued with the evening’s goose bump moment: a powerful, emotional “Half Gate” and the regular set closer, “Sun In Your Eyes.” The two-song encore began with “The Knife.” Gorgeous and abstract, the song elicited almost involuntary howls, whoops and yelps of joy from all over the Ogden. After thanking the crowd once again, the show ended with a wonderful acoustic take of “All We Ask,” the crowd hand-clapping and singing along with the band.
As usual, the sound at the Ogden was above average. Likewise, Grizzly Bear’s light show was so first–rate, almost slick, you’d think they were road testing it for Las Vegas.
Opening the show quite well was the New York City trio, Regal Degal. Their records are well worth listening to, and you had to admire the band’s commitment to selling them outside the theater after the show as a content audience shuffled out.
Mike Long is a Longmont-based writer and comedian and a regular contributor to Reverb.
Tina Hagerling is a Denver photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. Check out more of her concert photography.