By Aisha Sharipzhan 

Indie band Grizzly Bear roused the crowd with their hypnotic sound and psychedelic light show at The Anthem Nov. 8.

After a five-year break, the Brooklyn band is back to promote their experimental and magnetic album “Painted Ruins.”

Long-time listener Chris Kindig, 33, said he was excited and impressed by Grizzly Bear’s new music. “With a band like this, I would listen to anything that they came out with, but when you hear an album that’s some of the best they’ve ever done, [I am] more than satisfied,” the Baltimore resident said.

Grizzly Bear did not hold back, taking full advantage of The Anthem’s unique light effects, as they opened the set with “Four Cypresses” from their new album. With every addition to Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen’s vocals, tempo change and shift of beat, the lights flashed and changed with it all. Grizzly Bear made sure their already sensory music was a full-sensory experience in concert.

Emilio Martinez, 30, was seeing Grizzly Bear live for the first time and said he definitely hopes to see them again. “Very ambient, very strange, but definitely an amazing sound,” the IT worker said.

Grizzly Bear performed new songs such as “Mourning Sound,” “Losing All Sense” and “Three Rings,” while also giving attention to older tunes like “Knife,” “Sleeping Ute” and “Yet Again.”

When the distinct staccato keyboard introduction began to “Two Weeks,” the crowd cheered louder, recognizing the popular single from the 2009 album “Veckatimest.” The backlights blindingly flared as bass guitarist Chris Taylor entered the song with his clear, high-pitched vocals. Throughout the ambient melody, purple lights shined out of the floor, pulsing in and out from the stage to the rhythm.

Concert-goer and musician Nick Cath, 30, said Grizzly Bear’s sound is like “the indie-rock Beach Boys banged The Beatles at their most experimental stage, like the ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ era.”

When Grizzly Bear came out for their encore, Taylor briefly mentioned all he could think about that day was that “it’s been a crazy year for D.C.,” but it was all he had to say on the matter as they moved into “Shift” from their 2004 album “Horn of Plenty,” during which Taylor showed off his whistling and clarinet skills.

Cath commended Grizzly Bear’s professionalism when the main sound momentarily went out during “Shift.” After Droste’s vocals were briefly interrupted, he explained mistakes are an authentic part of real live music performances — “you get weird things that happen!” he said.

Grizzly Bear ended the night with “Sun in Your Eyes” from their 2012 album “Shields” as Taylor showed off his multi-instrumental talent, stealthily switching between saxophone and bass guitar for the atmospheric song.

It felt as though an electric buzz lingered in the air after such an incredibly striking light show. The night’s performance was a harmonious yet unconventional display with Droste and Rossen’s melancholy vocals, Rossen’s guitar shreds, Christopher Bear’s resonant drumming and Taylor’s many talents. Grizzly Bear’s return is certainly one that does not disappoint.

Featured Photo Credit: Cour.tesy of Grizzly Bear’s Facebook page.

Aisha Sharipzhan is a senior journalism major and can be reached at

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