Fresh off the release of Strawberry Jam, Animal Collective brought their orchestra of electronics to Webster Hall on both Sunday and Monday. Bwog correspondent Lucy Tang explains why you should never see a band you love at Webster Hall.
Considering that Strawberry Jam is one of my favorite releases of the year, I was very excited to see Animal Collective Sunday night, even if it was at one of the worst venues in New York, Webster Hall. Unfortunately, the set was short and lacked much Jam.
The opener Tickley Feather can only be described as endearing. With her lo-fi sound and crazy loops, she managed to make Webster Hall seem intimate. Think Beach House and Ariel Pink, then you’ve almost arrived at Tickley Feather. Huddling over her little 4-track (“My parents gave this to me. I’m not even sure if it works!”), the lead singer looked like a little drunk mouse in the best way possible. Though she charmed me over, a few bros in the front heckled her.
One of Animal Collective’s more notable quirks is mostly playing new songs at shows, and they did just that, including a great little calypso number. Unfortunately, many new Animal Collective fans fail to realize this habit, and those who expected a run-through of Strawberry Jam were clearly disappointed. I would have also preferred a few more songs off the actual releases, but “Who Could Win a Rabbit” satiated me.
Another detraction to the show was a bit more technical. Webster Hall’s sound is terrible, and the bass was incredibly loud throughout the show. Though the vibrations on the floor actually added to the ambience of the show, the band didn’t seem very enthusiastic about the heavy-thumping bass. In the middle of “Fireworks,” AC’s frontman Avey Tare cut the song because he couldn’t hear himself and they just moved on to the next number. For most of the show, the band members all seemed a little lackluster. For songs with such vibrancy, the show seemed like a mere jam session. Animal Collective ended the show rather abruptly with “Leaf House” and immediately walked off-stage, leaving enthusiastic fans to clap and cheer for a good ten minutes before the house lights came back on. Many fans grumbled about no encore, but to be fair, Animal Collective did play an hour-plus set. The fervor was there, even if the band’s energy wasn’t.