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January 22, 2009

Animal Collective - Bowery Ballroom 01.21.09

During the middle of one night in December, I woke up to the buzzing noise of my phone. My friend H. texted me to tell me that Animal Collective secretly announced a show at Bowery Ballroom and tickets had gone on sale that night. One catch: a password was required to purchase tickets. So, at 2 AM, I scoured the Internet in a fruitless search for the password that would grant me access to what may be one of Animal Collective’s last small-scale shows, coinciding with the release of their highly-anticipated new album. By the next morning, the situation had not changed. With no sight of the password anywhere, I joined the many people who were agonizing over how the hell we were going to get tickets. But, it was only a matter of time before the code was leaked, and I was on track to see the guys who hurt my ears at All Points West.

It was cold as hell last night, but a huge line of ticketless fans was not deterred from finding a way to the intimate show. I don’t know how many tickets were available at the door, but the venue was pretty packed by 9 PM. Drawlings, Avey Tare’s sister, promptly started her opening set, and I stopped paying attention a few minutes in. It would have sucked for anyone opening for AC last night. But, everything serves a purpose, and Drawlings’ role was to kill time.

After what felt like the longest day of anticipation, AC opened their set with “Almost Frightened.” While I was disappointed that AC didn’t open with “In the Flowers” like they had at Grand Ballroom, it was immediately apparent that the show would be unlike the set at All Points West, where the sound was so off-balance and loud that I couldn’t really make out anything. The sound at Bowery Ballroom was perfect, albeit I like to crank up the volume when I'm listening to Animal Collective. For the most part, the set list was very similar to the one for the previous night’s show at Grand Ballroom. As expected, “Leaf House” was an awesome live experience. The track becomes completely different with Avey Tare and Panda Bear emulating the effects and loops with their voices in real-time. Also, once again, AC performed the new song “Blue Sky,” which they debuted in London last night. Already, I can’t stop listening to this new song. Sometimes, I think it’s really unfair that Animal Collective can create music that’s so awesome that I can’t get it out of my head. Unfair to my attention span, which never had a fighting chance. You can grab the mp3 of a live version at nyctaper or gorillavsbear.

My favorite performance of the night was "Brother Sport", although David would adamantly disagree with me (See the comments section below). I like the live version significantly more than the studio one, which is already terrifyingly addicting. The building up of layers was more noticeable in person, and it made the pinnacle of the song (and its resolution) that much more satisfying. Also, I've actually missed Avey's yelping, and I'd take it over the perfectly looped yelp in the recording. There were some moments of the set that were weaker than others. I wasn’t the biggest fan of “Guys Eyes,” although I think the song really showcased Panda Bear’s talents as a vocalist. The extended “Fireworks” was too long for me, but it gave Animal Collective the opportunity to look like a rock band with Avey Tare on the guitar and Panda Bear on drums. AC closed their set with “Comfy in Nautica,” a track off Panda Bear’s solo album, Person Pitch. When the song came to an end, I was not ready to leave. Although they played for about an hour and a half, Animal Collective could have gone on for another five hours and I wouldn’t have minded in the slightest bit. In fact, some of the tracks could have been extended by another twenty minutes, and I probably wouldn’t have even noticed.

Saw Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear/Department of Eagles. Also saw members of Chairlift. Who did you spot at the show?

Beginning in March, Animal Collective will embark on a world tour. They return to New York on May 13 at Terminal 5. Tickets go on sale this Friday. If you can stand the venue, grab your tickets quickly. With all the hype surrounding Merriweather Post Pavillion, which is currently available for purchase, I expect the show to sell out within the same day.

Geologist is such a badass. He is the coolest alum in my eyes.

Setlist (via brooklynvegan)
Also Frightened
My Girls
Blue Sky (new song)
Leaf House
Summertime Clothes
Guys Eyes
Lion in a Coma
Winter's Love
Comfy in Nautica

Leaf House - Animal Collective | Alternative Link

Comfy in Nautica - Panda Bear | Alternative Link

Animal Collective


david on January 22, 2009 at 1:32 AM said...

fireworks was objectively the highlight. of my life.

mimi on January 22, 2009 at 1:40 AM said...

i'm listening to nyctaper's banshee beat from last night. this live version is not nearly as good as the recorded. i would rather listen to a near-record version of banshee beat for 20 minutes than extended fireworks.

david on January 22, 2009 at 2:32 AM said...

banshee beat is incredible, no argument there. but tonight's version of fireworks was pretty much what our species has been building towards for a few million years. epic, rocking, incredible... my body moved in ways i didn't think possible of it... ways in which the rather tepid performance of my girls didn't inspire it.

honestly, every song they played tonight just served as either the build-up or come down from fireworks.

david on January 22, 2009 at 2:33 AM said...

and i spotted chairlift, too!

Joseph on January 22, 2009 at 11:09 AM said...

I'm jealous, I tried to get tickets but missed out. Hopefully I will get to see them in May. But I've never been to terminal 5, what's the problem there?

Hiemann Lee on January 22, 2009 at 11:21 AM said...

backpacks and smelly people

mimi on January 22, 2009 at 12:46 PM said...

If you've never been to terminal 5 and generally go to small to mid-sized venues, you are in for a rude awakening. For obvious capacity reasons, artists who perform at Terminal 5 tend to have more of a "mainstream" appeal. Coupled with the all ages freedom, the Terminal 5 crowd tends to be... overexcited teenagers who don't go to shows often because of age restrictions/aren't knowledgeable about the all-ages DIY music movement.

This means backpacks, a long line before doors open, a terrible bar selection, and very aggressive/abrasive "dancing."

mimi on January 22, 2009 at 2:44 PM said...

according to a comment on bv, members of yeah yeah yeahs, yeasayer, vampire weekend, interpol, and blonde redhead were there.

Joseph on January 22, 2009 at 2:56 PM said...

Thanks for the heads up. If I go, I'll guess I'll have to bring my flask. And my patience. And my elbows.

Nate on January 22, 2009 at 2:59 PM said...

banshee beat live was really incredible. i dont think i bootleg can do it justice, but instead of hitting a loud chord for the swimming pool part they just cranked up the bass to by far the loudest levels all night. i think you just had to be there.

and do you really think terminal 5 will sell out?

mimi on January 22, 2009 at 3:21 PM said...

yea, term 5 will definitely sell out. it's really matter of time, but i wouldn't wait beyond a couple hours after tickets go on sale. everybody (even mtv) is talking about MPP. people who had never heard of animal collective before MPP are going crazy over the album. all that AC needs now is a brief play on gossip girl. yes, i watch the show, and DOE's "No One Does It Like You" was used on a recent episode.

i really wish i could have experienced banshee beat. love that song.

mimi on January 22, 2009 at 4:01 PM said...

david, if you're reading this:

david on January 22, 2009 at 5:07 PM said...

mimi, if you don't think bolachas is my homepage... you are sorely mistaken.

oooh the word verification is "hookaria"

mimi on January 22, 2009 at 5:10 PM said...

i thought your homepage would be gmail or something radiohead related like atease. mine is the weather.

Nate on January 22, 2009 at 5:56 PM said...

ughhhhh i dont even know if i can go... i think i'll buy two tickets at around 245 and if i can't make it ill sell them in advance. so i'm kind of hoping that they dont sell out before 245 and that they do afterwards. is terminal 5 all GA?

mimi on January 22, 2009 at 5:59 PM said...

you should just buy tickets. this show will definitely sell out. if not on friday, then sometime before the actual show. yep, all GA.

Nate on January 22, 2009 at 6:02 PM said...

UGH. concerts make me way too nervous

Nate on January 22, 2009 at 6:06 PM said...

"Coupled with the all ages freedom, the Terminal 5 crowd tends to be... overexcited teenagers who don't go to shows often because of age restrictions/aren't knowledgeable about the all-ages DIY music movement."

don't be hating

mimi on January 22, 2009 at 6:08 PM said...

whatever, that doesn't apply to you. you listen to good music and you're part of the CU family now.

Nate on January 22, 2009 at 6:11 PM said...

trueeeee. whenever you see a band like Animal Collective or Radiohead and want to be upfront you're going to be surrounded by an indie freakshow of superfans though. it's kind of annoying. i wish i still liked jazz enough to frequent the clubs.

mimi on January 22, 2009 at 6:15 PM said...

i heard the crowd at grand ballroom was on the young side. was that true? the show last night was mostly my age and older. everyone looked like huge music geeks.

hah, i'm almost always in the front. but i'm short, so i can't really see/breathe otherwise.

jazz is too $$ at times.

Nate on January 22, 2009 at 6:22 PM said...

yeah i'm short too, so its a problem. there was a kid from high school on shrooms standing in front of me. and then there were high school sophomores behind me. there were a lot of young kids up front at least.

and yeah, jazz is way too pricey, especially at the popular clubs. but i used to go to cheap clubs on the lower east side like Tonic and The Stone and it made me feel old and cool. i remember i always wondered why the people at the shows were wearing stupid hats and plaid clothing. and then i read about hipsters.

mimi on January 22, 2009 at 7:09 PM said...

i don't think i was that cool when i was in hs. i'm pretty sure i was just another emo kid who listened to the get up kids.

hats, i agree, are stupid. but i love plaid in moderation. can you honestly say that you don't own any plaid?

one time, i was sorta lost in park slope and i was looking for a venue. i knew i hit the jackpot when i saw a crowd of plaid-clad guys smoking in front.

Nate on January 22, 2009 at 7:49 PM said...

hahah, i have an older brother and a guitar teacher that got me into a lot of good music. i do own plaid though. its a love/hate relationship

nyctaper on January 23, 2009 at 11:44 AM said...

NYCTaper is back up and running smoothly.
Now BOTH shows are up, including Bowery:

mimi on January 23, 2009 at 12:20 PM said...

i think term 5 is sold out already. hope you got your tickets, joseph and nate.

Alexis Stember on January 23, 2009 at 12:20 PM said...

more pictures!

Nate on January 23, 2009 at 2:54 PM said...

YESSSSSS i got them hahahah! i was originally going to wait until now to get them because of school, but i felt like i couldn't wait, so i ran home at 12:10, saw they were sold out, tried again, got them, got a ride back to school at 12:16, TEENAGE AC FANS 4 LIFE

Joseph on January 24, 2009 at 6:43 PM said...

Had to settle for a couple less than I wanted but I got in before they sold out.

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