On a perfect (essentially) summer night, two relative giants in the world of indie rock descended on Columbus and put on a fantastic show that only left me wanting more. Coming off their fourth and second albums in 2012, Tuesday saw Grizzly Bear and The xx co-headline with outstanding performances of their best material.
As a disclaimer, Grizzly Bear are one of my favorite bands and I though it a shame that they didn’t headline this show. Thankfully, their music managed to shine brightly. The last time I saw Grizzly Bear live, they were the opener for Radiohead on the In Rainbows tour in Camden, NJ. This was pre-Veckatimest and the band seemed nervous, almost shocked at the call to play for the World’s Greatest Band. Tuesday, Grizzly Bear seemed at ease, even amused with themselves.
Songs were bombastic and energetic, taking on the kind of urgency that the live setting provides. The newest pieces from Shields were dense and pleasing, while the earlier material was well-polished without losing any weight or sincerity. Between songs, the band was light and jovial. Stage banter was playful, offering remarks about riding on swings, “keeping it real,” and eating Jeni’s ice cream. The highlights were their best songs, “Knife,” “Two Weeks,” and particularly astounding “While You Wait for the Others.” It’s hard not to get washed away in the echoing guitar as the song finishes and it was the true high point of the evening.