Sunday, May 17, 2009

Show Stopper: Animal Collective

I have been waiting for this show for a while now. Tonight I witnessed what was probably the best concert I will ever witness. My ears are humming in delight and my head is still buzzing. It was outstanding. Almost indescribable, if you ever get a chance to see Animal Collective perform, do not turn it down. Take that chance and grab it by the belt buckle. Pull it close and kiss it. I'm serious. Anyways, back on topic. Grouper opened up for the trio and an unfortunately half-enthused audience was there to great her. She did pull off a fairly decent performance and I applaud her for that. Opening for Animal Collective, especially today, is something that takes guts. I personally enjoyed a bit over half of her set-list and sadly nobody around seemed to respond greatly to it. They seemed to be craving Animal Collective. Avey Tare, Panda Bear, and Geologist come out on stage, the Merriweather Post Pavillion album artwork projected on the screen behind them, occasionally twitching with the lights. Above them is a huge inflated ball, projected upon with wonderful animated and life-like visuals reminiscent of Hollindagain and Prospect Hummer's album covers. They start off the show with a reworked "Chocolate Girl" (from 2001), that sounds just as sweet as its name, leading us into Comfy in Nautica (a Panda Bear track that they have been playing live recently). Getting lost in it all, I cannot remember the exact order, but they brought us an incredible handful of songs:

- Chocolate Girl (reworking from Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished, 2000)
- Comfy in Nautica (Person Pitch, 2007)
- Fireworks Essplode (outstanding meld of both "Fireworks" from Strawberry Jam, 2007 and "Essplode" from Danse Manatee, 2001)
- Lablakely Dress
- What Would I Want Sky? (I have no idea what this song is from, but it rocked)
They played a few songs throughout the set that I couldn't identify. Whether they were new or reworkings, is something I couldn't tell you.
- My Girls (performed with a slightly calmer version of the chorus, which I loved)
- Guys Eyes
- Lion In A Coma (easily one of the most energetic songs and performances of the show, with a great misleading introduction)
- Slippi (reworking from Here Comes The Indian, 2003)
- Leaf House (slight and absolutely brilliant reworking from Sung Tongs, 2004. This song made my night.)
- Brother Sport (incredibly energetic and great way to end the set, especially since it was followed by "Leaf House")

The trio leaves but Toronto, oh Toronto, roars for a little bit more of the collective. So they treat us with a wonderful encore.

- Bleed (a new track first played during their first show of the spring tour, May 11th, 2009. Tonight's version was slightly improved upon, with a much better introduction and I can definitely see this being great when it is completed)
One or two songs (melded together) that were either jams or new songs in the works, and they were incredible.
- Chores (from Strawberry Jam, 2007)
- Summertime Clothes (at this point everyone's heart was racing faster than a speedboat, and left us all on such a positive note)

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got so many Animal Collective songs running through my head that I'm starting to turn into one. One that stays up way too late. Heed my advice well, blog readers. Do not miss a chance to see Animal Collective live. Ever. I leave you with Chocolate Girl.

Animal Collective - "Chocolate Girl" (download)

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