Tuesday, December 15, 2009

animal collective at the forum

Well. So we just got home from the Animal Collective gig and Chris is having a shower to wash off the smell of tightly-packed hipsters and has commanded me to write a review of it. So, here it is, even though I hadn’t expected to be writing gig reviews here.

Electronica gigs always bring out the whiner in me, no matter how obsessed I am with the band. “What are you DOING to my favourite song? Why can you not sing CLEARER? Can you please turn down the FEEDBACK so I can hear the rest of the song? Who made the people standing in front of me so TALL? Why is the music not LOUDER, I have not imploded yet and demand to!” etc etc. This was pretty much the same. After scoring what was possibly the greatest car park in the history of attending gigs - about ten metres down the road and, glory be, FREE - we went in at the stated time of eight o’clock to find everything running on time and support act Bachelorette just about to dive into her set. She is too adorable and, frankly, quite awesome. I think I will put her album on my xmas wish list.

Animal Collective itself was scheduled to start at nine fifteen, a respectable time for the elderly to attend on a Monday night. They started barely fifteen minutes later than that, in front of a giant banner with a wacky-eyed woman staring out at the crowd. Some inconsiderate [barrage of swear words] pushed me out of the way so they could stand in front of me and completely block the view I'd spent an hour and a half cultivating, but Chris whisked me away to another angle where I could see one and a half of the three band members. They launched almost immediately into Summertime Clothes, otherwise known as My Favourite Song In The History Of Ever, and embarrassingly I almost shed a tear, so thrilled was I to be standing in front of the band I’ve been obsessively banging on about for months.

And? AND? (You ask.) Well, much like other obsessed-over electronica outfit El Guincho, I was, um, kind of let down. NOOOO! (You wail.) It was still good, and I bopped along like a dork to the songs I knew and loved, espcially the divine Brother Sport. Alas, I feel they completely killed my beloved My Girls, kicking it and stomping it into an out-of-tune repetitive blather that left me a bit surprised and probably set the scene for my later crankiness.

The Forum’s a great venue, redone since we were last there seeing Nick Cave at the beginning of the year, and the lighting was fantastic and the sound lovely. The crowd was into it, the man in front of me appearing to emulate some kind of washing-machine and the dude next to me holding one hand out like he was doing The Swan (which is a dance, no?) The band didn't indulge in much banter with the audience, fair enough as they were busy blending the tunes together, sometimes successfully and sometimes in a way that made you feel like they just hit you in the face with a brick.

Well, I’m sounding like this evening was some kind of torture; really, it wasn’t. Chris has long accused me of always seeing the negative straight after a movie/band/so on, and as usual he is correct. (Like he was tonight when I said, “Just go into that paid parking there! Right there!” and he said, “Nah, I'll drive around the block and see what's there.” Bastard.) I don’t know why I do this, but I find it hard to get myself out of the mindset of pessimism straight away. It was still a good show, and Chris said it was much as he expected; I think I just need to learn that electronica gigs never live up to the expectations I put upon them, and next time I'll spend the hundred-plus dollars I spent on tickets on a ridiculously expensive set of headphones and listen to the band up real loud playing the songs correctly, which is clearly all I desire. This isn’t how I feel about all bands - ones that are all (or mostly) instruments can make me completely giddy live, but when it’s a person or three and a bunch of machines, I just can’t get into the spirit.

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