Dec 12, 2009

Animal Collective @ Enmore Theatre

Their talent is self evident. Their creativity boundless. Their reputation sky high. Friday night at the Enmore Theatre only confirmed all of these opinions and more. For the stars shined and sparkled as a near musical perfection was attained. In spades. This, ladies and gentlemen is Animal Collective. On their only previous visit, they played a much smaller venue. @newtown. They also numbered four back then. Now they are three, with Deakin taking a leave of absence. They also have a much bigger audience now. Due in no small part to the release of this year's hugely acclaimed "Merriweather Post Pavilion". Thankfully the audience that they attracted last night was attentive and appreciative. Engrossed and entranced. Well, why wouldn't they be? It's not like every day Animal Collective roll up to this town. For this we are truly grateful.

As expected cuts from MPP featured heavily. They opened with "Also Frightened", which is one of my least favourite songs from that album. But this version was soaked in reverb and came across better then the studio version. A good start, I was in good hands. Launching into "What Would I Want? Sky" sealed the deal early. This wondrous song from the just released "Fall Be Kind" is already an instant classic. An impossibly gorgeous song. Then it was time to dance. The crunching bass of "Summertime Clothes" had the crowd moving with great joy. Going into the night I was hoping for material from their masterpiece in "Feels", but I was to be disappointed. However I was pleasantly surprised to receive two tracks from "Sung Tongs". "Leaf House" was the first and I didn't recognise it at first as this version is more synth heavy and not so tribal as the original. After this the band paused briefly. Avey Tare uttered a few words of thanks and off they went again. This was basically the only interaction of the night, with most of the set list flowing from one song into the other. Each vehicle presented as a seamless transition into the next, with small jams connecting many of the songs. Animal Collective do not play to the crowd. They are not showman. Their mission is to impart joy in each and every one of us. In this they succeed, wildly. Then it came. "My Girls". This slab of sunshine floated across the venue, with everyone breathing in the goodness. But the absolute highlight was still to come. "Fireworks" was an orgasmic exploration into sound. Stretched out to nearly twenty minutes in length, the band shaped and shifted the song to all of its boundaries. Panda Bear took up the drum kit for the majority, keeping perfect time with Avey's impassioned screams. The performance of this song will be burned into my memory forever. They then closed with the drop dead "Daily Routine". A slow burning marvel that showcased the great vocal qualities of Panda Bear. You could hear a pin drop at certain sections of this song.

We needed more though and the encore surely delivered. "In The Flowers", which I thought would have been an ideal opener, came at the end. Its bone crunching transition is hard to resist. Oh yes, hips were moving. "Bleed" was great also and the uplifting "Brother Sport" put a fine exclamation point on the night. A night of sunshine and bliss. Of melancholy and exuberance. Panda and Avey exchanged harmonies with exquisite timing, as Geologist kept things moving all the time. I also appreciated that despite the band now having a bigger audience they certainly don't pander to the party crowd. They still push the boundaries. Searching for that perfect sound. That point of discovery. As the clock struck eleven and I wended my way home I looked up into the sky and all I heard was sky-blue, bells ringing...

Set List
Also Frightened
What Would I Want? Sky
Summertime Clothes
Guys Eyes
Leaf House
My Girls
Who Could Win A Rabbit
Daily Routine

In The Flowers
Brother Sport


  • At December 12, 2009 , Blogger Matt Hickey said...

    fuck you! aha, no not really.
    the brisbane show was rad but your set list was better and it upsets me - we didn't get guy eyes or in the flowers. sad face.


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