Animal Collective, based in New York via Baltimore came to town virtually undetected, making a stop at the House of Blues while on their North America tour promoting their latest album “Centipede Hz,” a follow up to their most successful album to date, the critically acclaimed “Merriweather Post Pavillion.” Most of their catalogue is difficult to approach due to the experimental aspect of their music, but Tuesday’s blitzkrieg of sound and light was a very dreamy and seducing sonic trip.
Walking up through the usual ID-checks and Will Call lines, we got our wristbands in place and approached the merch table. I picked up a gorgeous double 180gram vinyl album with metallic ink plus a bonus DVD with concert footage and your obligatory mp3 download card. Walking down to a barely full venue, we actually found a tuffet to sit on—let the kids sweat themselves into a frenzy, it’s a god damn Tuesday! Accompanying my good friend, Geoff, who got me into the concert, we settled in, beers in hand.
Initially sounding a bit odd and off key, Noah Lennox (AKA Panda Bear) started with an odd choice, “Rosie Oh” from “Centipede Hz.” After settling themselves in, and finding their footing, Geologist set his rack on fire and they got into it with”Today’s Supernatural.” The whole encounter was like walking into a melting neon cake. It was ghastly, sweet, decadent and a little unsettling. Electronic whirrs and staccato buzzing mixed in with melodic, dulcimer-like phrasings pounded with deep and distant percussion. Sometimes rythmic and other times schizophrenic, making my head sway into waves of pure joy and funneling my vision into a wall of blinking colored eyes flickering us into a deep trance. Their songs bled into each other save almost seamlessly save for a few perfunctory snaps of silence.
The crowd was enthusiastic but not overtly riotous, elated but aware. One of the great things about Las Vegas music shows is that you can always see your favorite band/performer up close and personal. I mean these guys play European arenas, and you could literally walk right up to within inches of a yelping Avey Tare and a thrashing Deakin. We’re nothing if not grateful for their talent spilling onto our city.
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ArtsVegas: Covering Las Vegas Art and culture since 2009.