Grizzly Bear made many fans dreams come true at the Zoo

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Grizzly Bear made many fans dreams come true at the Zoo


Opening as a delightful one-man show, Jens Lekman’s voice and single guitar was backed by automated samples, making it a hard-to-predict opener. Lekman was later joined by his “Australian band”. Among this lineup was none other than Jenny McKechnie of Wet Lips and Cable Ties on bass. The sound the group produced can only be described as whimsical. The playful mixture of bass, piano chords and drums created blissful, toe-tapping pop that could lift the spirits of the saddest of spectators.


Continuing through an unpredictable set of different genres and varying samples, the set ended on the slower and melancholic ‘ Your Arms Around Me, exploding into the almost-rapped closer, ‘An Argument With Myself’.


After Lekman’s set had ended, like the house lights at an indoor show, the sky slowly dimmed as the sun set. Diehard fans had left their picnic rugs for dead as they got as close as possible to the stage. Before they knew it, one of indie-rock’s most beloved bands, Grizzly Beartook to the stage.


Forgetting one of their members, Chris Taylor, the band’s multi-instrumentalist and bassist, they kindly waited for him to re-join the band. It was almost mesmerising seeing such an indie-rock staple, as the band played song after song with nonchalance and confidence. Opening with a trifecta of songs from their new album Painted Ruins, old fans and new ones enjoyed the band’s simple five-piece instrumentation that was punchy yet serene. Songs like ‘Cut-Out’ and older tune ‘On A Neck, On A Spit’ opened with softer instrumentation, then detonated into vicious walls of sound.


As a long-time fan, it was slightly shocking to learn that Grizzly Bear has two vocalists. Both Daniel Rossen and Ed Droste share lead-vocal duties, and their duets blended together perfectly on catchy new tune ‘Mourning Sound’ as well as ‘Fine For Now’. The five album discography the band posses made the night unpredictable, as they could pull a new song out, then play a song from the classic Yellow House or Veckatimest. ‘Knife’ and ‘Ready, Able’, songs from those two albums respectfully were welcomed with grateful applause and screams.


It came to that point of the night, almost too quickly, as the iconic piano stabs of ‘Two Weeks’ played. As one of the band’s most iconic songs, it seemed like the perfect closer. Nonetheless, the audience basked in the beauty of the song’s gorgeous chorus as they were hit by a wave of nostalgia. It would seem like the set was ending but the song only marked the halfway point.


With many punters’ lives well and truly made, the band continued through their varied discography, playing newie ‘Three Rings’ and bare, piano ballad ‘Foreground’. “Ending” the set on Veckatimest cut ‘While You Wait For The Others’, devout fans were shouting the lyrics as hard as they could until the very end. After a short encore fake-out, the band returned to perform two last songs. The exposed and solemn ‘Shift’ was a surprisingly quiet part of the night. Ending on Shields cut ‘Sun In Your Eyes’, punters were shocked back into action as the song’s chorus rattled jawbones with its unexpected loudness.


For any music fan who became exposed to indie music through bands like Grizzly Bear, the night was an absolute must-see. To see such a prolific band in such a different, not to mention freer space like the outdoors at the Zoo, was a bucket-list experience.


Highlight: Seeing just how much the band cared about the bandicoots and the animals at the Zoo, mentioning a few times how they were worried about ruining their sleep schedule.

Lowlight: No ‘Wasted Acres’ or ‘Southern Point’.

Crowd favourite: ‘Two Weeks’ and ‘Knife’.