June 21, 2018

Grizzly Bear and Spoon played Prospect Park

Grizzly Bear and Spoon brought their fantastic co-headlining tour to Brooklyn's Prospect Park as part of the annual BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival that has now taken place at the bandshell for over forty years.

Following the first blistering hot days of the year, Wednesday night was finally a blissfully comfortable temperature, accented by brief rain and a touch of humidity that made for a splendid early summer night and the doubleheader of Spoon and Grizzly Bear further accentuated the evening. First up, Spoon treated their earlier slot with stellar poise and showmanship that was equally as hit-worthy and exciting as their tour mates and only felt a bit off due to the day light. Britt Daniels took control of the crowd from the moment he stepped onstage and struck a pose and continued throughout the band's entire set, never losing his momentum. "I Turn My Camera On" came a bit early into the set, but that helped set the tone for the rest of the night. Their mix of synths and straightforward guitar melodies bring a certain amount of pop to their music which has made them a consistent player in indie rock for three decades. They dusted off some older tracks, like "The Fitted Shirt" from 2001's Girls Can Tell and a killer "The Way We Get By" from 2002's Kill The Moonlight. The new songs from last year's Hot Thoughts sounded tight, but "The Underdog" from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was really the show stealer and a perfect sunset song to help welcome in the new season.

Grizzly Bear were back in their hometown not so long after their residency this past November at Brooklyn Steel and they're still rocking the same cave-like screens as well as a dazzling light show that draws the attention closely to the band allowing them to churn out their ornate and intricate compositions into beautiful summer skies. The rain actually started as the group took the stage, but it only added a new element to an outdoor Grizzly Bear show and didn't detract from the brilliance happening onstage. The band seemed a bit reserved at first, but rose to the occasion of returning to their former city, and closed the show with an absolutely phenomenal run of songs. The night was mostly comprised of tracks from last year's Painted Ruins, which holds up and sounds fantastic live despite not quite living up to some of their past work upon release. (That speaks more to the greatness of their older records because Painted Ruins is awesome.) "Fine For Now" was the turning point in their set and the moment they felt like they could really own the headlining status over their friends that kicked off the night. It was wound tightly before exploding in the typical fashion that these men have been producing for over a decade. Starting with "Sleeping Ute," the band proceeded to unleash an incredible melee of tracks that firmly reminded the crowd just how stunning this group can be when they can recreate the studio magic of their recordings to an almost unbelievable degree. "Two Weeks" -> "While You Wait for the Others" -> "Knife" was the absolute pinnacle of the evening and perhaps one of their greatest showings that I've witnessed. Their finesse was remarkable and they sounded just as invigorated as ever before and without any signs of hibernation in sight.

Spoon set list

01 "Knock Knock Knock"
02 "Inside Out"
03 "I Turn My Camera On"
04 "Do I Have to Talk You Into It"
05 "The Fitted Shirt"
06 "Don't You Evah"
07 "Do You"
08 "Hot Thoughts"
09 "Can I Sit Next to You"
10 "My Mathematical Mind"
11 "Don't Make Me a Target"
12 "The Underdog"
13 "Got Nuffin"
14 "Trouble Comes Running"
15 "The Way We Get By"
16 "Rent I Pay"

Grizzly Bear set list

01 "Aquarian"
02 "Losing All Sense"
03 "Cut-Out"
04 "Yet Again"
05 "Fine for Now"
06 "Ready, Able"
07 "Four Cypresses"
08 "Mourning Sound"
09 "Sleeping Ute"
10 "Two Weeks"
11 "While You Wait for the Others"
12 "Knife"
13 "Three Rings"
14 "Sun in Your Eyes"

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