SHOW REVIEW: Grizzly Bear at MTelus, Montreal

After too many years of waiting we got to finally see Grizzly Bear in our fair city of Montreal. The show took place at the well known MTelus, formerly known as Metropolis. This year Grizzly Bear released their much anticipated album, “Painted Ruins”, their fifth studio album and follow up to “Shields” which was released in 2012. We’ve been waiting 5 long years for new music and live shows and finally it all came together in the blessed 2017. 

The night started with the the oddly named opening act, serpentwithfeet. If the name wasn’t odd enough, the performance definitely was. The one man band from Baltimore, Maryland, stepped on stage in in bright red pants, tall boots and one long earring that looked like the curtains at my grandma’s house. Besides that, the man has some legit vocal talent, but I must say I definitely wasn’t a fan of the performance, as it felt messy and over the top.

On to the main attraction. I’d never seen Grizzly Bear live, and overall their albums tend to be sonically ambitious, so going into the show my only was concern was how well that transferred into a live setting. The stage was simple enough with what looked like a wrinkled gray fabric hanging in the background. The simple appearance changed immediately once the light hit the fabric, making the stage look like some sort of cave enclosure, perfectly setting the tone for the evening. The show started off with probably the most complex song of their entire album, “Four Cypresses” and continued with two more songs from the album, with “Cut-Out” being one of my favorites. Then they took a deep turn into “Shields” territory with the popular,  “Yet Again”,  a song with a dramatic ending that brings the clashing of all guitars and instruments into something resembling desperate screams. It was even better hearing it live, and that’s a lot to say. The show ended up seeing a mix of songs from their 5 albums, including their career launching song “Two Weeks”.

One of their throwbacks of the evening was “On a Neck, On a Pit”, from 2006. While introducing the song, they told the crowd about how earlier in the evening they met a couple that fell in love to their music in 2007, making us all awe.  A lovely anecdote to start what would be a whirlwind of a song. Definitely the most surprising song of the evening. Once it was time for an encore, the crowd erupted in screams and claps until the band came back out.  The encore consisted of the quiet but harmonious and soothing “Shift” from their freshman album, and finished with a bang with “Sun in Your Eyes”, a song that still reverberated in my ears as I walked to the metro after the show. At the end of the night the group looked excited and humbled at the crowds constant cheering, something that’s great to see in a band that’s been playing for over a decade. Throughout the years, Grizzly Bear has always been known for their mix of chamber pop-campfire indie songs, harmonies and overall ethereal feel, and hearing this live brought all those feelings to the next level.

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Grizzly Bear Set List:

  • Four Cypresses
  • Losing All Sense
  • Cut-Out
  • Yet Again
  • Fine For Now
  • Ready, Able
  • Sleeping Ute
  • Mourning Sound
  • Glass Hillside
  • Two Weeks
  • On a Neck, On a Spit
  • Foreground
  • Knife
  • Three Rings
  • While You Wait For the Others


  • Shift
  • Sun In Your Eyes


Tess B. Paiewonsky

Tess is a music loving and concert dwelling Dominican/self-proclaimed Montrealer. A lover of travel, she’s lived in the cities of Santo Domingo, Copenhagen, and the love of her life: Montreal. Tess enjoys writing concert reviews, singing loudly to her neighbors, and finding the best taco spot in town. You can find Tess checking out new bands around the city and playing her ukulele at a nearby park.

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