Review: Animal Collective at the Powerstation

By Jacqueline Smith

Animal Collective. Photo / Supplied
Animal Collective. Photo / Supplied

The jungle boys from Animal Collective are enigmatic live. And in New Zealand for one show last night, they turned crowd of tight-panted indie kids into a liberated agrarian tribe.

Holding the audience captive from their opening In The Flowers, a three-piece version of the collective (minus Josh Dibb - Deakin) hit the Powerstation with a mix of dreamy and hearth-thumping electronica.

Animal Collective have become more accessible in recent years dropping some of the hard-core fans and picking up the indie creatures who wear fringes and listen to fringe music.

Last night they layered the latest hits with new numbers from their EP Fall Be Kind which was released here on Monday.

They also slipped in some of the older favourites Slippi, from the 2003 album Here Comes the Indian, and Who Could Win a Rabbit for 2004's Sung Tongs.

Like many jungle dwellers, Animal Collective have a wonderful way of mimicking sounds that take you from an African desert to a trickling stream deep in the Amazon.

They play with the audience expectations, mashing up the songs with ticks and flicks, and building a song to a near crescendo, then dropping it.

The party exploded to Summertime Clothes from this year's Merriweather Post Pavillion album and Fireworks from the 2007's Strawberry Jam.

But showing just how devoted they were to the alt-poppers, some of the audience was also singing along to What Would I Want? Sky from the new EP.

Collective fans were there to immerse themselves in the sound, so there was no dithering around with conversation or set up. The non-stop set was topped off by an encore of the delicate new song Bleed and the crowd pleaser My Girls.

The set may have been short and sweet but the animals in the audience seemed to think it was just as mesmerising and as wild as they had ordered.

- NZ Herald

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