GRIZZLY BEAR with UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA at Massey Hall (178 Victoria), September 26. $29.50-$42.50. RTH, TM. See listing.
It's been three years since the last Grizzly Bear album, and their new one, Shields (Warp, see review, page 68), finds the eclectic psychedelic pop band sounding less pastoral and more urgent than before. According to co-frontman Edward Droste, that energy also extends to the tour they're about to embark on.
"We just did a couple of shows in August in the UK and Ireland, but before that we hadn't played together live for almost two years," he says from his Brooklyn home. Performing together again "is a little bit weird, but it's exciting because we have all this new material. We can switch up the set lists more and make the tour more interesting for us and other people. We're fully energized again."
There wasn't any major drama behind the break, just the usual fatigue that comes with spending a few years in a van with a bunch of other people. Touring as openers for Radiohead back in 2008, though, means they're now playing bigger and better venues than they did when they were slogging it out on the club circuit. In particular, Droste is amped about playing the legendary Massey Hall.
"We're really thrilled. It's a huge honour to be able to play such a cool place. I have a couple of musician friends in Toronto who are really excited for us to get to experience that for the first time. I've never even been inside it before, so the whole thing will be new and exciting."
Droste is also looking forward to being in a country that fully recognizes his marriage to his husband. While public opinion in the U.S. regarding same-sex marriage has dramatically shifted since the last election, the legal status of his union still varies greatly from state to state.
"You can't stop progress, and it's only a matter of time. You guys are just a little more evolved up there. Maybe it's the colder climate? Murder rates do go up in summer."