Tuesday, September 18, 2007

09-17-2007: Animal Collective @ The Fillmore

If it's difficult to describe an Animal Collective record, then it's ten times harder to describe an Animal Collective concert. In the live environment, the band's already fragmented melodies and structures are further deconstructed into swirling masses of sound. Boundaries of songs are unclear, and at times the vocal layers of Avey Tare and Panda Bear made their voices indistinguishable.

The feel of the concert was a surprise for me: it was an odd conglomeration of hipsters, stoners and music nerds. The band's performance was similarly unable to be categorized, and jumped back and forth from being catchy, to noisy, to almost dub-like.

Throughout the show, the crowd was rather docile, with bursts of energy coming when a recognizable song structure appeared. The most notable of these bursts came (surprisingly) with the new track "Peacebone". Throughout the song, the crowd was bouncing and dancing, and the floor of the Fillmore moved with them...

I'm still reeling from the experience of tonight's show: trying to digest it, understand what I heard, and figure out how it related to the band's recorded material. One thing I can say with certainty is that the same things that are making Animal Collective's records compelling also applies to the live experience. The band manages to create a unique soundscape that challenges the listener, draws them in for more, and ultimately leaves them questioning the boundries of music.

More photos available at the H.A.D. flickr feed.