Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Plants and Animals Played Union Hall: Pictures, Review, Setlist

Last night at Union Hall, we were lucky enough to drop in on a last minute, super intimate show from Plants and Animals. Seeing the trio in such a small room was really a blast, and their energy (and noise) seriously threatened to overflow the small underground room. As the band hammered through a one hour set, they not only got us even more excited for their new record, but also demonstrated why we continue to keep talking them up as one of the most dynamic live bands today.

The set was a quick one, and consisted almost entirely (save for "Faerie Dance") of tracks from the band's second full length La La Land, which drops next Tuesday. Hearing the songs live definitely served to enhance their dynamics considerably, and really drew attention to how solid the songwriting is on the tracks. Moreover, hearing some of the live arrangements (particularly the transition from "Swinging Bells" to "American Idol") served to give the songs context outside of the scope of the record.

More importantly, the set thoroughly illustrated that the band has been anything but lax since the release of Parc Avenue. They have managed to craft a set of songs that have their own identity, and a life that goes beyond the (admittedly awesome) sounds of their first records. Specifically, the band have further embraced their rock influences, and crafted songs that are more straight-ahead in their tone and demeanor, yet still contain the eclecticisms that made the first record so fantastic.

All the songs in the world won't do anything without live chops, however, and Plants and Animals are unquestionably a live act to the core. Put simply, they deliver so much energy and enthusiasm in the live environment that it's almost impossible not to be completely engaged with the music making that takes place on stage. The trio has continued to become more and more musically connected, and at this point they interact less like individuals, and more like a single musical organism.

As the band wrapped up "Faerie Dance", there was clear audience demand for another tune, but the venue (sadly) turned up the house music and left everyone in attendance slightly confused. Luckily for us, this show was just the tip of the iceberg, and the band will be playing another show at the Bowery Ballroom on June 9th. We would be remiss if we did not tell you, dear reader, that you really, really, should be in attendance.

Tom Cruz
Undone Melody
Swinging Bells->
American Idol
Fake It
Game Shows
Jeans Jeans Jeans
Faerie Dance

Many more pictures at the HAD Archive