Whether you love, hate or are just indifferent about Animal Collective there is one thing for sure. There is no one quite like them. They are unique. One of a kind. A snowflake. Please put me in the love camp. In my opinion they are the most important and influential band of the last decade. Trekking their own path, seeking their goals. Blazing a trail. Of unique, exciting, sometimes confounding music. Not pandering to any one. Integrity and exploration are in their DNA. They have a spirit. The spirit of music. It's not bound by commercial considerations or chart positions or radio play. They grow and breathe filled by the spirit of music. I'm assuming most of their fans follow them for this reason. It's living on the edge, not really knowing what is next, but knowing it will be an experience. Either great or bewildering. Thursday night at the Enmore Theatre was special for all of the reasons above, but there was one more. It was the first time the girl had seen them live (my third time). I can safely say she has never been the biggest fan. Finding the world of AC sometimes impenetrable. But she has one thing in common with them. The spirit of music. She seeks out and enjoys new music. As we left last night I asked if she enjoyed the show. With a smile she said 'It was a lot of fun'. At this I smiled. Gratified that she had felt what I felt. Big bouncing balls of joy. Smiles and laughter. I don't know if she will be rushing out to buy a copy of "Here Comes The Indian" but at least I know she has a greater appreciation of why I love them so.
2012 saw Animal Collective take a back seat critically. "Centipede Hz" was well received but the huge acclaim of previous albums escaped them. It was a dense album, lacking a "My Girls", but after many listens I could hear the excellence. The glow was still there. Last night was a huge display for the album with nine tracks played. Thankfully they shone on stage. Each song actually growing a leg live, with the audience going along for the ride. "Applesauce" in particular was enormous live and "Moonjock" was a sonic boom. But it was the last four songs that welded old and new into an orgasmic mess. "New Town Burnout" segued into "Monkey Riches" with fervour and beautiful symmetry. Then we danced. And jumped and felt our hearts burst with joy. "Brother Sport" was a jumbling, colliding firework whilst Avey Tare stepped out from the decks and rumbled through "Peacebone". A short break and the band returned for a nice encore which included the obligatory "My Girls". "Amanita" then concluded the night with beautiful grace. They are Animal Collective. They are vital. They are needed. I need them.
Lion In A Coma
New Town Burnout