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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Week of Mayhem, Night 4: Grizzly Bear, The Corner Hotel, 05/01/10 (+ Gear Talk)

Tonight's Grizzly Bear show perhaps wasn't totally mindblowing, but it was pretty damn impressive. Perhaps it's just how casual they are about being a great band. They opened with Southern Point, and it was probably the highlight for me; the part where it kicks in felt like reaching the top of a hill and looking out across a great expanse that was far more breathtaking than you'd anticipated. It's very cinematic music.

Okay, so, here's the important bit. Grizzly Bear are total gear-whores. Here's what I could decipher from their setup.

Chris Taylor had the most pedals of all the Bears. He had a couple of microphones set-up that went through his pedals; the one up top was for vocals (and might have not gone thorough his pedalboard, but often had a big wash of reverb, as well as tremolo for Knife). The bottom one was used regularly for his trio of wind instruments (flute, clarinet and tenor sax), which he ran through an Electro Harmonix POG (version 1) to transform his clarinet to bassoon to killer whale. It seriously pumps out a lot of bass. Other pedals were a Moogerfooger (Bass?) MuRF, an Akai Headrush 2 looper, a Boss Digital Delay, a Boss OC-3 Octave and a Boss PS-5 Super Shifter. He played both a Rickenbacker and a Hagstrom bass, and all of this was going through to a Musicman Head + Ampeg Classic 4x10 cab. He also had a radio which he used to feed static through his pedals, often looking very frustrated at not getting the static just right, which reminded me a bit of this for some reason.

Ed Droste has a pretty simple setup with nothing too fancy; he has a little keyboard and an omnichord up top, and played a Fender Telecaster through a Fender Twin. Pedals were a Sansamp (Bass Driver?), an MXR Carbon Copy delay, a Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi NYC and a Boss Tuner. He also had a Boss Digital Delay and a Boss Reverb which I think he ran vocals through. There's also an older EHX Holy Grail and a Small Clone on his board.

Daniel didn't have all that gear as well; he played a few different hollowbodies (a Guild and a Gibson ES series with the one P90 in the neck), as well as a 70s Gibson SG through a bigger Fender combo. He also has a Wurlitzer electric piano (which I like more than the Fender Rhodes). Pedals were an Electro Harmonix POG, a Boss Digital Delay, an older orange Ibanez Compressor, a ZVEX Distortron and a wah of some description, plus a couple of others.

The coolest thing about this band is their ability to sound so full when there's not much going on at all; even when it's just a guitar and a couple of voices, it doesn't feel there should be more going on, or it's a quite part in-between loud parts.

Southern Point/Cheerleader/Lullabye/Knife/Deep Blue Sea/Fine For Now/Two Weeks/Colorado/Shift/Ready, Able/I Live With You/Foreground/While You Wait For The Others/On A Neck, On A Spit//Fix It

Tomorrow night... a night off? My ears need it, and I've got some stuff to prepare for the show on Thursday. And the Future of the Left on Friday and the Week of Mayhem will be OVER...

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