. : : September 26th, 2012 : : .
After EQing, tracking, and then opting not to post Unknown Mortal Orchestra‘s opening set at Massey Hall in 2012, I decided to check the status of the evening’s headliner, Grizzly Bear.
Boy, was I shocked to see the work was already done! Tracked, EQ’ed, encoded, and ready to be uploaded. More so, I was blown away that the recording actually sounds leagues better than the opening band’s.
Lyrics are only slightly distant, rather than virtually inaudible. Drums are a bit reverb-y, but otherwise crisp and clear. Guitars are chimey and present. Only the bass sounds like I rolled it back a bit too far.
Why didn’t I post this back in 2012 then? They were a significant band in the Pitchfork-endorsed indie circle. The show has a couple of special local guests: Leslie Feist and Owen Pallett. The sound quality was pretty passable.
As I mentioned in the previous blog post, I knew nothing of the band going into the set. And although almost a decade removed, I remember being terribly underwhelmed by the set. Was it was the exhaustion of a long day sight-seeing with an out-of-town friend? The frustration at the always poor acoustics of Massey Hall? Maybe I just struggled with a near 100-minute set of unfamiliar songs frequently 5+ minutes in length (a couple of times exceeding 7!)? Likely, it was a combination of most of these ingredients, and a series of tremulous of escalating events in my personal life.
Listening back almost a full nine years later is a more favourable experience. My inability to appreciate the band at the time seems to have been my failing. Story of my life: this discovery comes too little, too late.
Grizzly Bear originally started as a solo project for co-frontman Ed Droste before quickly evolving into a four-piece, but barely a year ago, Ed announced on the Lunch Therapy podcast that he has left the band to pursue a career as a therapist! The band appears to be continuing on without Droste, but there’s no doubt it will be a different band going forward.
Perhaps, then, this newly released ancient tape will fill long-time fans with wistful nostalgia?
But I also think there’s enough here to interest new fans, who have one okay-ish live recordings to catch up on among the five studio albums the band has amassed to this point. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.
- Speak in Rounds
- Sleeping Ute
- Yet Again
- Ready, Able
- A Simple Answer
- Half Gate *
- What’s Wrong *
- While You Wait for the Others
- Sun In Your Eyes
- Two Weeks #
- All We Ask
* with Owen Pallett
# with Leslie Feist