ACL '09: Grizzly Bear Offers Sunshine On A Dreary Day

Banter is not Grizzly Bear's strong suit--not in the slightest. Rather this is a band propelled by meticulous instrumentation and harmonies. And though the band failed in the first count, its moot apologies to the crowd for putting up with the rain falling flat, the band succeeded glorious on the second, offering audiences empirical proof that live shows can equal a band's output on record--even in the rain, even on a festival stage without the same set-ups afforded a band in a theater performance.

It was odd, though, that there even seemed some question as to whether Grizzly Bear could live up to its strong reputation on Saturday. Perhaps the questions bouncing about the festival grounds were simply a matter of uncertainty about the band's draw--for this show, the band was placed on the Dell-sponsored stage, which sits among the pair of second-to-largest sound systems and draws in Zilker Park.

Squared off in a timeslot against the more radio-friendly Airborne Toxic Event, Grizzly Bear still drew fans by the thousands to its set, though--and left with a belly filled of Tootsie Rolls tossed on stage and an audience more than satisfied by the aural pleasures offered by the band's catchiest songs, "Two Weeks" and "While We Wait For The Others."

Sure, the band's slower numbers may have been hurt by the rain still coming down in Austin, but those faster ones offered a ray of sunshine, if only metaphorical, during a bleak day.

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman