Tracks Monkeys With Lasers

Animal Collective @ Brixton Academy – 20/08
August 26, 2009, 4:38 pm
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags: , ,

First things first; I’m not a massive Animal Collective fan. I only have the latest album, Merriweather Post Pavillion, and I wouldn’t probably put it on my top ten albums of the year so far. I got the album at the beginning of the year as a number of friends (who were fans) raved about it to me so I gave it a pop and it’s fair to say it’s not really my thing.

However, another friend (in a slightly similar position) asked me if I wanted to go along to the gig. It’s not very often I don’t prefer a band live to on record and had heard that AC were incredible live so decided to go along and see whether this would be the case.

We missed the support band, Gang Gang Dance, as I had been moving house that day so was in a bit of a mad rush and I hadn’t seen said friend in a while so we went for a drink beforehand (as well as this, Gang Gang Dance are a band in a similar position to AC for me; friends say a lot of good things about them but I just don’t get it).

So we eventually got along to the Academy with about 15 minutes before AC were going to come out and the venue seemed much busier than when I saw TV On The Radio a few months ago but this may have been due to the fact that we were stood halfway back in the venue rather than right down the front for the other gig. This felt like the right place to stand as we both admitted to not being huge fans of the band. But after the inevitable faffing on stage, the guys finally came out.

Now the biggest problem of reviewing this gig is that I didn’t know all the songs played and even with the ones I do know, it takes me a little bit of time to figure out which one it is (bar a couple) so I’ve whacked the setlist for the gig down the bottom of the review.

The opening track wasa decent enough opener and set the scene for the night. But the following track was My Girls, for which the crowd went mental. This is fair enough as it is a great track but it quickly became apparant that I wasn’t in the minority only knowing the new album as the crowds reaction to the following track was the polar opposite to that for My Girls, going from jumping around and singing to standing around and talking and this was how the whole gig panned out.

I can’t just stand around at gigs so was bobbing along to tracks, even if I didn’t know them but people around would get into conversations when tracks they didn’t know were being played. It was only when Guys Eyes was being played the crowd got going again. The set itself was pretty impressive and there were a couple of tracks that really stood out (but as I say I can’t name them); one of the best being the slow number they played. The best tracks easily were the ones played towards the end of the set when the guitars were out in force and the drums being used. The final song of the set was my favourite of MPP, Brother Sport, and (again) the crowd went crazy for it.

At this point it should probably be mentioned that the actual spectacle of the show was as amazing as anything. The stage itself had the MPP artwork as a backdrop with a giant sphere hanging from the roof with videos being projected onto it throughout the show. Add to this the fact that the keyboard/synth stands were on top of lights that reminded of something from a school disco. On top of this, the lighting either drowned the stage in colour are gave beams onto the stage/crowd.

All in all, the gig itself was pretty good and pretty relentless with only one pause during the show between songs (and this was only to sort out an amp). Even after this problem was ‘sorted’ the sound levels were disappointing. Also, the atmosphere from the crowd was surprisingly flat at times but when it got going it was great. Brother Sport was probably my highlight, as was  Fireworks (See vid below – taken by someone else) and the encore of Lion In A Coma was also fantastic.

The gig was by no means the best gig I’ve been to but was one of the best spectacles I’ve seen in quite a while. I’d be quite keen to see these guys again with the sound levels just right and with a crowd of actual fans, even if I’m not one of those myself!

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