Thursday, 15 January 2009

when i saw animal collective live

I went to see the Animal Collective play. I haven't heard their last two releases but I love Sung Tongs, Here Comes the Indian and Campfire Songs.

By the end my t-shirt was stuck to me, though I barely moved the entire time. Although I was doing the chest thrust/head nod combo like everyone.

It was a dreamy gig; bookended by evening that featured only bullshit and worry.

The band appeared mostly as less than silhouettes: colourful quarter outlines with the lights above making the smoke a stage covering filter of colour and these massive vaguely psychedelic lights at the back cutting through making some really dynamic shit happen.

You couldn’t tell who was making what noises on stage and there was an easy link between the vibrating mass there and the constant fuzz and bass drum of the songs.

Sometimes you’d see, I think, Panda Bear move to a small drum kit and likewise out of the hum and groove you’d hear the beginnings of songs you knew and whilst all this was great I had massive trouble relaxing.

They played Leaf House from Sung Tongs and this weird and dreamy version of Slippi from Here Comes the Indian (one of my favourite songs ever and the first AC song I heard) and maybe it’s because I knew them so well but these were the real stand out parts of the set. It seemed like such a step up from everything else they played. I listened to a few new songs before I went and I recognized three of them and even then it wasn’t as intense.

Maybe if I’d worked my way to the front of the crowd, surrounded by all that heat (which I imagine was unbelievable), I would have felt more enveloped and caught up.

The last time I saw them was one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. Top 1 or 2, for real.

What I liked about that show was here again, just not as right on somehow.

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