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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Like the day you found out Santa didn’t exist

    Fact: It’s hard to translate experimental music into a live show.

    Keeping that in mind, last Thursday Animal Collective (the Blink-182 of experimental rock) brought its “”live”” act to the Rialto. Following Wizard Prison, the band was less than convincing and relied heavily on echo effects and pre-recorded loops. Aside from the three decent tracks it played, most of the band’s set was a muddled experimental onslaught.

    The concert highlighted the band’s two latest albums, Feels and Strawberry Jam, and hit many of its popular songs, but as a whole lacked cohesiveness. Oftentimes it felt like the band took the experimental tag too far, especially when lead echoer Avey Tare began experimenting with his lyrics in between swigs of beer.

    The highlight of the show (yes, surprisingly there was one) came when the echo-y fog seemed to clear and Animal Collective kicked into “”Peacebone.”” Excitement spread over the audience, and for a brief moment, concertgoers seemed to get into the music.

    As promising as the song was, the set quickly descended back into monotony.

    The musical tedium was only equaled by the band’s lack of stage presence. All three of the members seemed fixed in place and lacked movement aside from bobbing their heads in between starting and stopping loops or toggling effects.

    During the majority of the concert Avey Tare’s guitar seemed to waste away behind him, beckoning to be played. When he did pick it up and strum a few notes, it seemed more reminiscent of Avril Lavigne banging out a few power chords than any musical virtuoso.

    As hard as experimental music is to perform live, groups find ways around this: A small act like Xiu Xiu will circle through as many instruments as possible, and a band like The Sound of Animals Fighting will recruit nearly a dozen members, all to give the audience a truly live performance.

    But where Animal Collective failed, opening act Wizard Prison seemed to succeed. Pulling off an authentic experimental act, Wizard Prison’s two-man performance frantically transitioned between distorted guitar and industrial-ish keyboard riffs. The display was so raw and unconventional, even the audience was unsure how to ingest the sound.

    After Wizard Prison set the bar, Animal Collective decided to limbo under it.

    There’s ways to make a show like Animal Collective’s entertaining and engaging. All it takes is a little more effort. Sadly, it wasn’t brought to Tucson last Thursday.

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