Of Montreal & Grizzly Bear Do NYC

An interesting double bill for adventurous show hoppers last night: Of Montreal brought their song-and-dance to Irving Plaza while, on the other side of 14th Street (and way on the other side of the sonic spectrum), Grizzly Bear brought their haunting harmonies to Bowery. We were feeling adventurous.

Kevin solicited audience clapping from the first song, and it was all uphill from there. Setlist included “Rapture Rapes The Muses,” “Forecast Facist Future,” “Disconnect The Dots,” and an exuberant new-wave tune that’ll be on Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? (the refrain repeats “Forever” a lot — anyone got a title?).

And it wouldn’t be a WIRED party without David Byrne, who must’ve been ticked pink by Of Montreal’s cover of Os Mutantes’ “Bat Macumba.” We told David we liked his blog, which he loved (seriously!). He said he doesn’t get a lot of feedback about it. To which we replied, “Well, yeah, you don’t have comments.” We know, you’re not supposed to bother David Byrne at concerts. But he’s so cute with that bicycle helmet hanging from his bag. We couldn’t resist.

Didn’t get any pics, due in part to Irving’s “no bags” policy (does ANY other venue in the city do that, aside from Hammerstein?), so you’ll just have to imagine a silver, sequined one-piece, parasols, boys in dresses, and an extensive strip tease during which Kevin Barnes was lashed with a faux-fencing foil and wound up in Saran Wrap (like the piece of Outback meat he is). So, get imagining.

Stream new songs from Of Montreal here.

As for Grizzly Bear, we’re getting to that dangerous place wherein we expect the best, always. But the constant touring is serving the boys well, ’cause we have yet to be let down. Yes, we loved ‘em last time at Bowery, but the Grizz we saw yesterday were a well-oiled, road-honed machine. And the sell-out crowd was attentive, a prerequisite to digging into Yellow House’s sweeping song cycle. Take a tight band with amazing material and an adoring audience, and you have yourself a very special night at Bowery Ballroom.

We heard earlier in the day that Owen Pallett was gonna make an appearance, a rumor substantiated when Mr. Final Fantasy added his Polaris Prize-sized violin skills to Horn Of Plenty’s “Don’t Ask”; the result was some pretty moving shit.

The re-envisioned “Shift” drifted along like a surreal dream, “Lullabye” built to a rocking, polyrhythmic crescendo (thanks largely to Chris Bear’s ferocious kit work), and the crowd-favorite “Knife” was when guys turned to girls and said shit like “This was that song I was talking about, it’s so good!” And yes, dude, it was. The only thing that could puncture the magic bubble Droste and the Grizzlys conjured was a broken bass string, right before the show-closing “On A Neck.” But Ed handled the pause well, commenting on the dearth of beards among the hipster set before closing the show on an awesome note. So, yeah, you could say we enjoyed.

Grizzly Bear Setlist
Service Bell
Li’l Bro
Final Round
Don’t Ask
Fix It
On A Neck