Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Katie Did It! Katie Did it!

Animal Collective - Live at the Bowery Ballroom (3/25/06): This was my second time seeing Animal Collective. By the second song, it was readily apparent that this band's live show had become even tighter and more feral in the year since I first saw them. I'm not sure I can properly articulate the experience of seeing Animal Collective live - the AC you see live is not the AC that you hear on record. Sure, all the trademark idiosyncrasies are there - the ethereal glissandos and echo-drenched guitars, the pounding tribal percussion, the childlike chanting/shouting, and ambient found-sound samples. They're all just presented louder and more gnarled. I think I can speak for the entire crowd that night when I say that AC's sound just consumes your senses, envelopes you like a womb, and makes your body convulse like a raver mad-high on E. Seriously, the bowery ballroom felt like an exorcism that night - it was intense and beautiful. There was not an "arms-crossed, standstill" in my sight - just nodding heads, contorting spines, and twitching legs.

The setlist was evenly split between new songs and old songs. The new songs played definitely continue in the vein of Feels and some of them seemed to employ more percussion and electronics. Then again, it was such a tidal rush that it was hard to tell which instruments were making which sounds. However, one new song, "Peace Bone," featured only Panda Bear on drums and The Geologist on his electronic-gizmos/laptop while Avey Tare and Deakin chanted in unison. It was jubilant and brilliant. The old songs played were Flesh Canoe, Grass, Purple Bottle, Banshee Beat, and We Tigers (which was beautifully segued into from Peace Bone).

To make the night more celebratory, it was the last night of the tour as well as The Geologist's birthday. For the occasion, there was a birthday cake brought out by his girlfriend and the entire crowd sang him "Happy Birthday" (he was bashful and grateful). After the brief B-day break, the band launched into a barn-storming version of "The Purple Bottle." It was utterly captivating and ended the night on a perfect note.

*I also want to note that this was my first concert since moving to NYC; and I can't even express how much more pleasurable it is seeing a show without being engulfed in a cloud of smoke.*


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