Wednesday, September 19

Live: Animal Collective @ The Henry Fonda Theater - 9/18/07

Last night, accompanied by aspiring rapper Greater Good, I caught a sold-out Animal Collective show at The Henry Fonda Theater. The band is currently touring as a threesome and although I have no idea where Deakin was, Avey Tare, Geologist, and Panda Bear were in full freakout effect.

The last time I saw these critters, Deakin and Avey Tare played a lot of guitar, while Geologist ran electronics and Panda Bear pounded the skins and ran additional samplers and keyboards. Things were changed up a little last night. Avey Tare played guitar on only a few songs, and instead focused on delivering his incredible barrage of chants and shrieking. Both Panda Bear and Geologist ran multiple samplers and effects units. Panda also sang and banged on a floor tom, snare, and a few cymbals.

Based on recent live reviews, I expected only to hear tracks (and interludes) from their latest LP, the excellent Strawberry Jam. Although they played a lot of that record -- including mesmerizing interpretations of "Peacebone", "Fireworks", and "For Reverend Green" -- they also performed some choice cuts from Sung Tongs. The hypnotic "Leaf House" appeared early in the 1.5 hour set, and they closed with "Who Could Win A Rabbit".

After a near-seamless set, the animals left the stage and did not return. Honestly, they didn't have to. Animal Collective delivered a phenomenal performance that truly pushed the boundaries of sonic experimentation and made me believe that they owe a large debt to a secret musical witchdoctor deep in a forgotten forest.

As you can see in my craptastic pictures, the band is ready for Halloween. I sure hope those skeletons are made of peacebone.

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