Maybe Grizzly Bear won't wait so long before booking another concert in Tampa. At the tail end of a tour that included shows at big-time summer festivals Governor's Ball and Bonnaroo, the band played their first-ever show in the Bay area Wednesday night in front of a hyper-enthusiastic crowd of indie rock fans at The Ritz Ybor. Singer-songwriter Ed Droste was forced to take notice. Minutes after coming off stage he tweeted: "Want to give the audience tonight the biggest most collective sweaty hug for being awesome. Note to other bands...play Tampa!"
Take that Miami. That's where the band made its Florida debut a night earlier (and where the crowd didn't get a Twitter shout out). For fans of the four-man Brooklyn band's gorgeous, melancholy and pyschedelic rock, it was worth the wait. Co-lead-singers Droste and Daniel Rossen's haunting vocals sounded near album-perfect, and you'd be hard pressed to find two singers who compliment each other better live or on record. For two hours, Grizzly Bear put on a display of musicianship worthy of the band's place as one of the most-popular indie bands in the world right now. Bassist Chris Taylor got down on the saxophone during "What's Wrong," Droste played harp on "Lullabye" and wailed on a synth during "Knife," and Rossen moved seamlessly from behind his keyboard on a booming version of "Two Weeks," to playing the guitar riff on the ballad "A Simple Answer." The band isn't much for moving around on stage, smiling or audience patter, aside from the occasionally shyly mumbled "thanks," or "cheers" from Droste, but who needs that when the music sounds so good.