Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Animal Collective live 2/7 in Los Angeles

Below are some things that actually happened at last nights Animal Collective show in LA, and some that didn't. Can you guess which aren't true? Have fun:

A. Devandra Banhart stood outside the entrance, mouth agape, looking for all the world like a latter day Charles Manson waiting for his "children". His companion eventually showed up, a cheerful chap with bleached blond hair that reminded me of the 'Scotty' character from Boogie Nights. (Personal aside: Congrats to Philip Seymour Hoffman on winning an Oscar. My favorite PSH role is the blackmailing Mormon mattress salesman/phone sex entrepreneur in Punch Drunk Love)

B. At the end of Animal Collective's 3rd twenty five minute ambient jam, Deacon took to the mic and told the audience that it was time "to shake some rumps" at which point the band launched into a scorching 35 minute cover of "Come on and Ride it" by the Quad City DJ's. At least 3/4th of the crowd was doing the tootsie roll. Fantastic stuff.

C. For some reason the venue for this show was a warehouse that is usually used for techno nights and DJ sets. When you see a DJ, who cares what they looks like on stage? You're there to dance. But Animal Collective are highly entertaining to watch in the same way its fun to give your 6 year old nephew a fist full of pixie stix and watch him dance himself into a stupor. Sadly unless you were in the front or tall (I missed out on both fronts) you had to settle for brief glimpses of the band or watch the screens set up behind them which looped crappy visuals that seemed to be left over from the last time Sasha played there.

D. PJ Harvey stood behind the soundboard dancing. She is aging very well. Easily one of the most oddly attractive women I have seen. Kudos to her for enjoying the show while two thousand people took turns looking and/or pointing at her.

E. For their encore the band brought out an actual panda bear. It was pretty disappointing as all it could do was play a little tambourine, and then only if its keeper fed it bamboo as it played. Plus I think it mauled a bunch of people in the parking lot after the show. But parking lot bear maulings are a fact of life in the LA indie scene.

F: Judging by the confused looks on peoples face I would say 60-70% of the crowd had only heard 'Feels' and none of the more "difficult" AC releases. This led to a lot of people mouthing variations on the theme "hey, where are the songs?".

G: The opening act, Tamba Cha Cha, blew a lot of peoples minds. A lot of older men in suits were there for them, A+R guys obviously. Mark my words the band is going to be huge. They have their CD on consignment at Amoeba and it has been #1 for three weeks. Animal Collective were wise to have them open. They really got the crowd going.