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The Daily Wildcat

98° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Like dropping ecstacy without dropping it

    When Animal Collective last played in Tucson to a sold-out audience at Solar Culture, it seemed as though the members might take off on a kings-of-sound spaceship and never return to Tucson.

    After word that the band (originally of Baltimore) recorded its newest and most ridiculously addicting album, Strawberry Jam, in this quaint desert town, of course a show at the Rialto would proceed, and fans anticipated a night of masterfully psychedelic craziness.

    After the extremely erratic Wizard Prison, which the audience didn’t seem to care for, Animal Collective took the stage last Thursday at about 10 p.m.

    Rather, to the surprise of diehard Collective fans, three-fourths of the band took the stage.

    But after the band opened with “”Unsolved Mysteries,”” the catchiest, bubbliest, most anticipated track off Strawberry Jam, wonderment ensued. The audience, even newbies to the group’s sound, found itself in the Collective spell.

    Flashing blocks of light across the backdrop of the stage, along with skeleton ballerinas, were subtle compared to the music.

    Animal Collective’s all-electronic setup was in no way a disappointment. In fact, its random usage of guitar was rather a tease and had fans itching for that astonishing and psychedelic sound emission. The band’s cacophonous detail to produce sounds like bubbles, “”woos”” and bells had the audience wanting, needing, more.

    Collective’s sound is difficult to describe, for it is full, wonderfully repetitive and consistent. Consider this: once the band finished a song, it continued to resonate within. Maybe it had something to do with the flashing lights, but there is nothing like being fully immersed in a sound so particular, and this live show was truly evident of that.

    Perhaps the most endearing aspect of an Animal Collective show is that the band takes complete advantage of its time on stage, rarely stopping to talk between songs.

    While most of the songs performed, like the heart-throbbing “”Peacebone,”” were off Strawberry Jam, a few favorites had crowd-surfers in the air and a pair of girls dancing near stage right.

    Finishing off a trance-like evening with “”Leaf House”” from their 2004 album Sung Tongs the guys left the audience with an internal echo of their crescendo-like fan favorite.

    This band is producing and creating music unlike any other, in an industry constantly failing with the fusion of guitars, electronics and drum machines.

    Animal Collective may be criticized for a sound that is hard to enjoy, but its live show is the perfect venue for people who respect the art of electronics and the creativity process.

    Indie rockers and experimentalists at heart, Animal Collective is simply revolutionizing the art of the live show. And it managed to accomplish that, as well as stun the audience in Tucson, once again.

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