Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Animal Collective - Kentish Town Forum

Animal Collective are a band well known for intense live performances featuring anything from crazy visuals, playing unreleased material and complely changing known songs. This had everything and more. Their support came from Dent May, a man I have talked about a lot over the last few months and I was excited to see what he would have to offer live, coming on without any of his backing band it was literally Dent May with his ukulele and a guy with maracas. I feel he was let down by the sound quite a lot but apart from that the set was great and in a smaller venue his music would work really well.
With a huge inflatable ball hanging from the centre of the stage and trippy patterns projected onto it, a setlist showcasing some of their best material from the last few years and sounding louder than a Mogwai concert this was always going to be a special gig. Opening with one of the highlights from Merriweather Post Pavillion, 'Lion In A Coma' through a haze of dry ice and lights their relentless, immense sound barely stopped until the encore. Playing the Forum is no easy feat for any band and to sell it out means big things and for a band which are undefiable in terms of genre this is really big. In fact I didn't realize how big until the day of the gig where I walked into a number of shops all playing a selection of tracks from the hugely successful Merriweather Post Pavilion and there are also adverts on the underground. At times their set was reasonably self indulgant, making four minute pop songs such as 'Peacebone' into almost twenty minute atmospheric soundscapes which shows that they are in no way phased by the sudden jump in venue size and continue to do exactly what they want. The sound did get annoying at point as the bass seemed to drown out almost everything else going on but on the whole Animal Collective put on an amazing show, its like a statement of intent by a band full of surprises.

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