Friday, July 15, 2011

A Tale of Two Animal Collective Show Reviews

As you may have seen (in comments section), I am not a fan of the Animal Collective live show. I have seen them twice and literally walked away from one show because of how agonizingly terrible it was. They are not a good live act even though their albums are worth a listen. So, when the show at Mr Smalls sold out in less than one day, I couldn't wait for the reviews.

I was only able to find two of them via google so far. They are definitely opposing views even to the point where you get that "selling out feel". One can be found via a blog here. The author absolutely despised the show and everything about it. The other, written by Sam Butterfield of the Post Gazette, can be found here. He finds some very amusing ways to give props to the band although writing some pseudo derogatory remarks. Lets contrast a couple excerpts:

With regards to the stage:
Post Gazette: Kudos must go to whomever constructed the set design. The group played under the glow of a massive pink skull hanging from the ceiling at Mr. Smalls, once a church, giving the venue a spooky, hallowed and almost cavernous feel. Along the sides of the walls were quartz-like, crystalline lanterns of varying jagged patterns, reinforcing the underground (possibly haunted) mine ambience the venue assumed.

Blog: Starting with the set, which might have looked cool on LSD or mushrooms, but just on straight booze looked like something I could have come up with in the 3rd grade. There was an orange garland that stretched from one end of the stage to the other which looked like something you’d hang at a Halloween party. Straight up. I hope they didn’t put too much effort into making that, because a similar option could have been purchased at Dollar General.

Wow...ok. Let's take another excerpt.
The Crowd:

Blog: There was a real crowd disconnect taking place here. Other than the die-hard fans who hung on every note, the general consensus of the room, which was reinforced by someone yelling “Animal Collective sucks!” at the close of the show, was indeed, a vast disappointment.

Post Gazette: ...but from the crowd's giddy, manic dancing and almost nonstop bobbing and lilting, it did not seem many were disappointed.

Whoa. Who had the best vision here? Crowd sounds spectacularly involved to PG. But the blog says patrons were yelling "you suck" to the band. hmmm.

You can find the PG article questioning the set list construction throughout the article and whether it was connecting with patrons. But evidently everyone was "dancing" and "nonstop bobbing" of heads. What? Huh? Yeah, let's call it like it is.

I went to see Wild Nothing at Stage AE that same evening, which while decent, wasn't anything to write home about. But I am certainly glad I didn't see Animal Collective.


  1. I am so glad I went to Wild Nothing that night.

  2. Brothersport

    Even if they played all new stuff this, We Tigers, and Summertime Clothes were worth it.

  3. I love Animal Co. but their live show was such a huge bummer. I knew going in that they'd play a lot of new material, but that blog is right in saying the crowd wasn't into it. When you haven't played somewhere in 8 years and you can see the crowd loves the hits, just play them. I wish I would have gone to Twin Sister forreal.

  4. I've heard time and time again, how Animal Collective is one of the more boring shows without a good dose of illicit drugs.

    Glad I went to Wild Nothing/Twin Sister too.

    I also agree about Wild Nothing. The lead singer for them is a talented song writer and musician, but he certainly isn't a "showman" by any means. But for ten dollars I'm not going to complain. Good show. Also liked Twin Sister.

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