Grizzly Bear and Owen Pallett at Stubb’s w/ Sour Notes and Letting Up Despite Great Faults After Show

Grizzly_Bear-1It feels like forever since Grizzly Bear played in Austin, but the band came out of hibernation and ventured to the warmth of Texas for the spring. Their show last night at Stubb’s sold out in no time, and fans’ excitement erupted in raucous, almost religious outbursts throughout the night. Live, the band sounded as impeccable as ever, never sacrificing the beautiful, ephemeral melodies and adding a more intensely bass-driven tendency to their set filled with fan favorites.

Grizzly_Bear-9It’s almost difficult to say that one particular song set the crowd off as concertgoers seemed to explode in delight after the first few notes of each song. However, the end of “Ready, Able” did feel especially cathartic. The band dropped hit “Sleeping Ute” early in the set, but crowd interest never waned. Of course, everyone got down to the much loved “Two Weeks.” Unique stage lighting for the event offered a memorable experience; honeycomb-hive-like lanterns emitted a pulsating glow behind the band and streams of light jetted across the stage in opposing directions.

Grizzly_Bear-7After performing for over an hour, the band left stage to quickly return to an audience actively anticipating the encore, which consisted of outstanding tracks “Knife,” “On A Neck, On A Spit,” and ghostly acoustic closer “All We Ask.” Fans will have one more opportunity to see Grizzly Bear in Austin if they were lucky enough to snag tickets to the group’s ACL taping, scheduled for Wednesday evening.

Owen_Pallett-9Owen Pallett opened the evening with a wonderfully propulsive set filled with beat driven music informed and substantiated by Pallett’s excellent violin abilities. It would be unfair to call Pallett the thinking man’s Andrew Bird, since Andrew Bird is kind of the thinking man’s Andrew Bird–but Pallett does employ the same sorts of loops and strings sensibilities while adding a greater penchant for electronic experimentation. Despite dropping the Final Fantasy moniker and using only his name, Pallett was backed by an excellent band comprised of a bassist and drummer.

The_Sour_Notes_040813-1Live music fans who can never get enough were in for a treat after the show, since Austin lynchpins The Sour Notes and Letting Up Despite Great Faults shared a bill for an after show inside Stubb’s upon the conclusion of Grizzly Bear’s set. The Sour Notes sounded as energetic and rocking as ever, thundering through their powerful, psych-tinged indie-rock songs. New songs such as the rocking “Two Hands Wait” and the laid back groove “Lay Me Down Smooth” have become constants in the band’s live show and have fans anticipating the impending new album from the Sour Notes. The group also treated the audience to an excellent Wire cover.

Letting_Up_Despite_Great_Faults-8Letting Up Despite Great Faults has become a staple in Austin since Mike Lee relocated here from LA last year. The band’s brand of upbeat shoegazey pop attracts listeners with excellent recordings, and the quartet delivers plenty of energy live. Bassist¬†Kent Zambrana seemed particularly enthusiastic, perhaps in part due to his engagement to be married, which occurred just this past Sunday.

Grizzly Bear and Owen Pallett performed excellent sets to be sure, but those who hung around after the show were rewarded substantially by local bands whose music complements that of these larger touring acts. Although it may be a long trip out of their natural habitat, we’re hoping it isn’t so long until we see the likes of Grizzly Bear this far south again.

About author
Bryan Parker is a writer and photographer living and working in Austin, TX. He is the founder of blog Pop Press International and print journal True Sincerity and recently released his first book, a volume on Beat Happening in the 33 1/3 series.

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