The stage at the Warwick Arts Centre’s Butterworth Hall may be the absolute lowest featured in any near 2,000 people capacity venue. It’s so low that it initially feels like the audience is peering in through the window of Grizzly Bear’s practice space. But this image is soon dispelled, and begins to feel like a real concert due to the band’s excellent lighting. Following a slow burn version of “Speak in Rounds” brought to life by Daniel Rossen’s energetic scraping folk guitar, a short instrumental interlude plays as two rows of lanterns slowly rise to the ceiling. It’s a little Indie Rock Spinal Tap. Had the lights been blood red, instead of a warm golden candle glow, you would have been forgiven for throwing up the devil horns. The netted jellyfish lanterns move up and down all night to form different patterns, and when the stage is solely illuminated by them it’s appearance is reminiscent of Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. Their light show overall is evocative and imaginative, including the dazzlingly literal visual interpretation of “Sun In Your Eyes”.

Their set is heavy with material from their new album Shields. “Sleeping Ute” sees Rossen’s guitar work venture from delicate strums to visceral strikes. Its classical guitar ending becomes even more subdued live, bringing into focus his excellent voice as he sings “and I can’t help myself” with agonised regret. Edward Droste, who started Grizzly Bear as a solo project, fronts the band for the soothing offbeat Veckatimest track “Cheerleader. One of a few tracks from their critically acclaimed third album that are spread throughout the set. Droste sung Shields track “Yet Again” benefits from bassist Chris Taylor’s subtle background vocals, and the sleepy opening of “I Live with You” builds to a stomping crescendo. Which allow drummer Christopher Bear to throw in some inventive fills amidst the weighty thrashing guitar.

An audience shouted request for “Saint Nothing” from Daniel Rossen’s excellent solo EP Silent Hour/Golden Mile is sadly left unfulfilled. “He’s playing that in the lobby afterwards, over martinis” quips Droste. “Yup”, replies Rossen, self awarely adding: “how’s that for stage banter ‘yup’”. They’re forced to continue the semi-awkward banter after a slight piano malfunction, before the unmistakable opening of “Two Weeks” does all the talking for them, and receives the biggest response of the night. Their encore begins as expected with crowd pleasing single “Knife”, but ends on a more surprising note with an excellent stripped down version of Veckatimest cut “All We Ask”. It feels incredibly intimate, the four band members assembled together in the centre of the stage as they harmonise with one another on the repeated refrain: “I can’t, get out, of what I’m into, with you”. It creates a magic on stage that transcends any light show.

4/5

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