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Animal Collective - Bronson Theatre Centre, Ottawa, 8/9/2007

  by Andrew Carver

published: 28 / 9 / 2007

Animal Collective - Bronson Theatre Centre, Ottawa, 8/9/2007


Despite an unnecessary accompanying light show and playing a less-than-ideal seating venue , Andrew Carver finds much to admire in avant-garde psychedelic rockers Animal Collective's show at the Ottawa Bronson Centre Theatre

Animal Collective has carved out a substantial body of weird and wonderful music on the fringes of pop, blending noise from the avant-garde, harmonic pop, folk music and psychedelic rock. They are one of the few bands not aimed at the teen pop market likely to attract fans in facepaint. Frequent touring and a steady schedule of releases has brought them a good audience, and when they rolled into Ottawa on an exceptionally warm September evening, they were booked into the Bronson Centre Theatre, once the assembly hall for Immaculata High School. It’s a double-decked affair designed to seat 900 and is better suited for theatre than live music, but does have the advantage of good stage space should you care to bring a pair of taffeta-garbed skeletons and backstage lighting. Eric Copeland, formerly of Black Dice, opened the show. The two outfits have an intertwining history. Animal Collective’s first U.S. tour was with Black Dice and Animal Collective’s label Paw Tracks is releasing their new record along with Copeland’s ‘Hermaphrodite’. Both Copeland and Animal Collective make frequent use of loops in creating their music, but where Animal Collective thrive on variety, Copeland uses them to create a monolithic rhythm, often at crushing volume. Grinding squawks and hammering breath noises were laid over Copeland’s indecipherable utterances, and while he performed a steady trickle of show-goers could be seen heading back to the lobby for relief from his slurred industrial lullabies. During the intermission a man dressed as a puffin handed out promo cards for another show. There was a quick bit of gear-switching, then Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) and Geologist (Brian Weitz) took the stage (Josh Dibbs, a.k.a. Deacon, was absent from this show). As they appeared a small horde came down to the front of the stage to sit in the space between it and the theatre’s seating. Avey Tare handled most of the “real” instruments – guitar and keyboard, while Geologist busied himself over a mixing desk. Panda Bear manned his own samplers, occasionally turning aside to keep the beat on a floor tom as occasion demanded. Squalls of noise weaved their way through rhythms that came near disco and afrobeat – after a half hour the sitters were up and dancing, much to the inconvenience of the folks who remained sitting in the front rows. For most of the show Avey Tare was the commanding presence on stage – and occasionally off, when he leapt into the audience to dance along with the crowd. Although the venue wasn’t ideal – this is not a band to be enjoyed sitting down – and their accompanying lightshow veered between the unnecessary and annoying, there were still plenty of high points including ‘Walk Around With You’, their new single ‘Peacebone’, the even newer ‘Material Things’ and a medley of ‘Essplode" and ‘Fireworks’.

Picture Gallery:-
Animal Collective - Bronson Theatre Centre, Ottawa, 8/9/2007

Animal Collective - Bronson Theatre Centre, Ottawa, 8/9/2007

Animal Collective - Bronson Theatre Centre, Ottawa, 8/9/2007

Animal Collective - Bronson Theatre Centre, Ottawa, 8/9/2007

Animal Collective - Bronson Theatre Centre, Ottawa, 8/9/2007

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