by Cormack O'Connor in New Music on Saturday 11 January 2014

I can assure you that Grizzly Bear are not running short on either creativity and originality. As they walked onto the stage at the Sydney Opera House’s beautiful Concert Hall, a hush washed over the crowd.

Opening with Speak In Rounds, I was surprised to learn that Ed, Daniel and Chris all sing (having believed it was all Ed from listening casually to the band over the years). As things progressed, I was even more surprised by the number of instruments each member can play, especially Chris who can seemingly do it all.

In such a grand venue, louder tracks such as Gun-Shy, Cheerleader and Two Weeks sounded amazing, but I found myself mesmerised by the softer and more subtle tracks.

A highlight was the dark and brooding Shift, with soft whistling, dual vocals, palm-muted guitar and spine-tingling falsetto. It left me with a sense that it is on the quieter tracks that Grizzly Bear truly shine live.

Being the final show for the band in support of their 2012 LP, Shields, it was a special night – made even more so by the iconic nature of the building.

Setlist:
Speak in Rounds
Adelma
Sleeping Ute
Cheerleader
Lullabye
Little Brother
Yet Again
Shift
A Simple Answer
Foreground
Gun-Shy
Ready, Able
While You Wait for the Others
On a Neck, On a Spit
What’s Wrong
Two Weeks
Half Gate
Sun in Your Eyes
………………….
Knife
Colorado
All We Ask (Acoustic)