Review: Grizzly Bear and Beach House at Williamsburg Waterfrond

The hippest pool party without a pool took a graceful bow this past Sunday, ending a summer full of delightfully free shows. JellyNYC welcomed home Brooklyn boys Grizzly Bear, and brought in the haunting chamber music of Beach House and the electro-disco antics of Vega. The line outside the Williamsburg Waterfront was fearsome, extending beyond a warehouse two blocks away, snaking to the waterfront then rounding back near the entrance. I thought about buying a choco taco and calling it a day, but then I remembered there was a park next door with no wait. You couldn’t see much unless you were a select few to scale a wall, but you could hear just fine.

Vega played their dafty single “No Reasons,” but I couldn’t tell you what dance moves they broke out or how many machines cluttered the stage. I was lying on a dry patch of browning grass, watching svelte bodies let loose in short shorts and striped shirts. Beach House adds a bit more swing to their live performance compared to the record. The opening taps of “Gila” were like the hushed murmurs of a ruined surprise party. I knew what was coming, but I was still grateful for Victoria Legrand’s dreamy vocals.

Right before Grizzly Bear appeared, there seemed to be a rush of people that had just entered the park. In the mass of confusion, I hurdled a barricade to the proper side and got a good view of Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen. As the they launched into “Southern Point,” the sun began to set against a Manhattan backdrop. They sounded like a band meant to pack stadiums. When I saw them last year at APW, their vocals were crisp and the set had a softer tone, but this day they would fill the space with mountains of reverb and harmonies stacked upon harmonies.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the special guests in attendance and Jay-Z’s hopeful message on the state of indie rock, but none of that mattered when the group invited Victoria back on stage and “Two Weeks” chimed in. Ed croons for us to take our time and you should consider it, cause we may never have another summer like this again.

Grizzly Bear Tour Dates:
Sep 25  Skidmore College (w/ Gang Gang Dance) – Saratoga Springs, NY
Sep 26  Michigan Theater (w/ Beach House) – Ann Arbor, MI
Sep 27  Metro (w/ Beach House) – Chicago, IL
Sep 28  Metro (w/ Beach House) – Chicago, IL
Sep 30  First Avenue (w/ Beach House) – Minneapolis, MN
Oct 1    Blue Note (w/ Beach House) – Columbia, MO
Oct 3    Austin City Limits Festival – Austin, TX

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– Phillip Nguyen


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