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Animal Collective | 05.29.09 | Oakland
Sometimes things in life work out so well, it feels like there must be some superior power orchestrating all the events around us. Walking from the 19th street Bart station in Oakland to see Animal Collective perform at the Fox Theater, I was greeted by groups of fans with with faces painted to resemble wolves, kittens and panda bears. As they galloped passed me to get ahead in the line, I began to wonder what the gods of rock had in store for me tonight.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for a band that I’ve never seen live before. I’ve become familiar with their impressive catalog of seven albums over the past few months as I was planning to record a couple songs by them at Coyote Hearing, a recording studio owned by Apollo Sunshine drummer Jeremy Black and Big Light percussionist Cochrane McMillan. The feeling of anticipation in my belly was further induced as we entered the floor of the 80 MILLION DOLLAR theater. The place is beautiful. The stage was set with one guitar, one floor drum, one cymbal, and four stations of samplers and mixers. This was backed by a giant sized graphic of the cover art off their newest album Merriweather Post Pavilion. Two giant 35 foot tall chains of gold speakers hung from both sides of the stage towards the audience. On each side of the speakers there was a gigantic Buddha-like statue with red and green eyes that reinforced the feeling that this was gonna be a great show.  I couldn't decide if I wanted to be on the main floor and dance or try to get a seat upstairs to sit down, relax, and have my mind blown.

As the show started with the round vowel led songs like "Brother Sport" I watched as the sold out crowd crammed toward the stage and began to dance their painted faces off.  Then as  Avey Tare and Panda Bear began singing the repetitive lyrics "open up your, open up your,  open up your throooaaaats" the sounds from the band mixed with the rebounding lyrics begged the audience to open up their minds as the music bounced off the decorated ceilings and walls of the Fox Theater. There was a gigantic inflated ball that hung above the band that had rhythmic projections of videos and animations that hypnotized the audience into falling into the world of Animal Collective. The band never really stepped into the spotlight, rather they stayed united between the glowing stands of their mixers and the omnipotent album cover in the background. Their transitions in between songs were deep, delicate, and left my ear intrigued.  Somewhere between a combination of Kraftwerk, Ratatat, and Radiohead was this trio, whose samples seemed to come from thousands of roars, croaks, and buzzes with endless delays.  At times I could have sworn I was living in an electric rain forest.  The show went on to play many songs, old and new, with layered tribal beats, reggaeton melodies, and psychedelic layers that you can hear in different spaces of time. Most notable was their song "My Girls" which got the crowd moving to the beat of their floor drum and perfectly mixed vocal harmonies.  Animal Collective brought music that just makes you wanna move and ask questions about how they did it later.

Fan Reviews After the Show:

"Psychedelic music is back!"
Dan-30-SF

"Effing Awesome.  Meooooowwww..."
Katie-29-Oakland

"The Fox is now the Best Theatre in the Bay Area. Way better than the Warfield."
James-27-Oakland

"I wish we got tickets for the floor so we could dance. I didn't like sitting down the whole time in the balcony."
Sarah-25-San Francisco 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 5/29/2009 12:57 PM