I didn't know it was possible. My appreciation for Grizzly Bear has doubled since I saw them last Friday (June 5th) at the Phoenix in Toronto. Here is why.
The Opening band Here We Go Magic from Brooklyn New York were damn good themselves. Normally openers for an $18 concert aren't the best. Typically some semi-okay local band good enough to pass some time. But Here We Go Magic played a really solid set, with great energy. Their songs ranged from up beat and poppy to more mellow and experimental. It was a really pleasant surprise given my past with sucky Toronto openers (a few being The Beauties at Broken Social Scene, not bad but totally not suited for the concert. Grouper at Animal Collective made people sleep, and one I still can't forget: Viva Voce from Portland Oregon because they announced who they were after EVERY SONG from The Shins 2007 concert ). Another good news item: set change didn't take too long. They were pretty dang efficient.
Grizzly Bear themselves were awesome. They played a solid set of Veckatimest and Yellow House songs mixed with a few older and rarer songs. It was such an enjoyable concert; such a relaxed atmosphere, no insecent pushing or violent crowd. It was the most beautiful concert I've ever been to, the music was such a high caliber and so dreamy. Some of my personal highlights would include: Colorado, Knife, and While you Wait for the Others. Another big highlight was a guest performace by Leslie Feist. Feist came to perfom Service Bell (off of Dark was the Night) with Grizzly Bear and also Two Weeks off of Veckatimest. I think everyone in the crowd was happy about that, but I'm sure at least half had entertained the possibility (come on, it's Toronto, anything can and will happen). I left the concert in a great mood. Really happy about the whole thing and kind of wished I knew them better when they played 2 summers ago at LOLA fest (maybe a repeat performace this summer?! Hopefully but probably not). It was simply a fantastic show.
If you haven't heard Veckatimest their latest release (came out a few weeks ago) you really ought to at LEAST check it out on their myspace and if you haven't even heard Grizzly Bear (where have you been?), same thing.