Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear

‘Partial view’ box seats are apparently the way to get a spectacular view of sold-out shows at BAM: I paid $25 each for seats so close I could see Owen Pallett’s grunts and grimaces (of frustration?) as he performed his opening set of Final Fantasy songs scored for a backing orchestra. Although his sound was more obviously suited for the “indie band plus orchestra” treatment, most of the crowd was there to see and hear Grizzly Bear’s post-grunge. I have and love all their albums, so it was an automatic satisfaction to hear them play out live. I left thinking I’d just as well have seen them without the orchestra, though. The songs when the orchestra sat silent (a stand-out among them, if a politically suspect one, was their closing cover of The Crystal’s ‘He hit me’) were the best.

A needlessly apologetic Owen Pallett midway through his Final Fantasy set

A needlessly apologetic Owen Pallett (R) midway through his Final Fantasy set

The incongruously cute, adorably named Nico Muhle, who set both Final Fantasy and Grizzle Bear aright vis a vis the world of classical music.

The incongruously cute, adorably named Nico Muhle, who set both Final Fantasy and Grizzle Bear aright vis a vis the world of classical music.

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