There aren't very many bands who I've called my favourite since I reached the Age of Reason (which for musical taste occurs about six months after you realise that good music doesn't always need distortion) and Animal Collective are one. REM, Radiohead, The Smiths. Maybe Of Montreal, recently. But Animal Collective had it for a long period of time.
They played Tripod on Sunday night. I'm not going to go into the crazy detail I could go into because (a) I did it yesterday and then deleted the post because it was stupid, (b) other people have already talked about the gig probably better than I would in my fanboydom and (c) nobody reads this blog anyway.
In short, I thought the gig was pretty good for half a gig. They played 6 or 7 songs, which for Animal Collective means the guts of an hour because of segues, intros, outros and improvisation. They were all Panda though. Which was suspicious.
Avey had the flu. There's nothing that can be done about this. I can't complain, like. I've had the flu. It's shit.
So an Animal Collective set with Noah (Noah is Panda Bear, if you're new to this) singing seemed like the logical step for them I suppose. People have complained that they didn't tell the crowd up front, but in fairness they probably considered the songs they did to be good enough to stand by and be judged by. They've done obscure sets before, hundreds of times, and if they think a Noah-only set counts as an Animal Collective set, that's fine by me. I enjoyed it.
Loch Raven was great. Song For Ariel was great. Other new songs that I can't remember titles of were great (I won't check the set-list at Collected Animals because I don't want to) or sometimes not that great. The Strawberry Jam songs were fed through everything the rest of the material was fed through.
And to be honest, I think that's partly why people were unhappy (as well as the short set and the lack of singles, obviously). Strawberry Jam's production was really pristine. The vocals weren't treated, the melodies were up front and there weren't any meandering songs really, apart from #1. So people who got into Animal Collective very recently might not have been prepared for what they actually sound like. Which is nobody's fault.
Funnily enough, while #1 stands out on Strawberry Jam because it isn't really a song per se, I thought it was the best thing they played on Sunday. Hypnotic stuff. Conan may have thought so too.
When Avey could take no more, after however many songs, Noah played some Person Pitch stuff. I screamed like a girl, I'll admit it.
Good Girl/Carrots is one of my favourite songs (or song/songs), I'd have paid 20 euro to see him play that by itself. And the second Song For Ariel was pretty cool too. Ariel must be tickled pink (that was a poor pun).
I enjoyed the gig. Definitely. I've seen Grass and Purple Bottle and We Tigers live before, so I wasn't as let down as some people were. I'd like to see them come back though. And play Peacebone. So everyone can realise exactly how good they can be at pop, as well as sending people into dazes.
This turned out pretty long after all.
1 hour ago