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This review of Grizzly Bear at the Fox Theater was originally posted at SF Critic. Written and photographed by Ryan Holmes.


If the Fox Theater in Oakland had a voice, it would sound like Grizzly Bear. Rich with intricacies like a palace: golden embellishments of finely detailed crown molding hanging tight to the solid foundation, shining tokens of craftwork, mirroring the layered vocal orchestration of the Brooklyn quintet. Visually, Grizzly Bear looked right at home; however, this was Grizzly’s first time (forgive me) occupying Oakland. As the lights dimmed, the band graciously shuffled to their respective spots on stage and dove right in with new tracks from their critically acclaimed Shields.

Grizzly Bear‘s set moved along in a way that would resemble a play on the football field. Calculated, they would line up. Then, in measured unison engulfing the audience in a wondrous play of sounds, dispersed into solos, before regrouping between tracks. Then they’d line up and do it all over again, eventually culminating into a magnificent display of showmanship.

Highlight: Fan favorite, “Two Weeks,” seemed to pop harder than normal as the drums received a well deserved boost from the boards. Christopher Bear’s drumming has a jazzy, selective approach, allowing the silence between the snare and toms to feel

just as important. Chris Taylor’s backing vocals pleased as the crowd tried their best to match that perfect pitch.

Kudos: I’m not sure who the creative director for this tour is, but give that guy/gal a raise. Now!

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