Animal Collective at Ogden Theatre, 9/9/13
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE @ OGDEN THEATRE | 9/9/13
There were some "gremlins" last night that plagued the stage for Animal Collective at the Ogden, but it didn't hamper the performance. If anything, it heightened it. In one moment of perfect synergy during "My Girls," the power dropped out for one of the choruses and the crowd took over. When that line was over, Deakin told us the power had gone out, and the song resumed without really missing a beat. Rather than stopping and making an adjustment here and there with the gear, the rest of the band rolled forward seamlessly.
Tom Murphy Animal Collective at The Ogden Theatre
The stage was set up like a giant mouth, with eight giant teeth at the ceiling like an overbite, and six at the stage level (three on each side). Each of these was a smaller projection screen that emitted light, at times strobing. Behind Geologist and Panda Bear, there was a larger projection screen with what looked like a multi-colored, patterned tendril holding it in place while another arced partially over the other like some sort of strange crab pincer.
The projections massively enhanced the visual experience of the show. Few, if any, of the patterns and color arrangements repeated from song to song. The whirl of colors and sometimes abstract, sometimes vivid and detailed images perfectly complemented the music. The show could've easily been adapted to a much larger venue, but as it was, the experience was richer without the diffusion of distance.
Drawing mostly from its recent albums, Animal Collective gave us a fully realized performance that also featured some of the newer material from Centipede Hz, including a kaleidoscopic yet emotionally raw and moving take on "Applesauce."
The radio station switching sounds at the beginning of "Wide Eyed" also served as an apt counterpoint to the galloping breeziness of the rest of the song. The song was tribal, hypnotic and tonally rich, recalling an evolved mutant expression similar to what the Mission UK had in the late '80s, only turned inside out. And when the tune came apart at the end, it really felt like you were seeing the kind of psychedelia that most other rock bands attaching themselves to psychedelic rock today aren't attempting. It truly disoriented the senses by breaking the standard rhythms and pulling apart layers of sound.