Experimental indie rockers Animal Collective return to Marquee Theatre on Tuesday, October 22, and the whole thing has left us conflicted. If the band plays some old songs we'll be happy. Heck, if the band plays anything we know we'll be happy.
My experience seeing the band at Coachella in 2011 was less than stellar, but a lot of that had to do with my expectations.
2011 was my first year at Coachella and like most indie music fans, I adored Merriweather Post Pavilion. Animal Collective and Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti were the two bands I was most excited to see on the lineup, and in retrospect, my expectations couldn't have been more off.
I should have just watched Lauryn Hill.
I figured AnCo would play a bunch of songs from Merriweather, since the album was well received and was full of the band's most recent material. Animal Collective should at least closed with "My Girls," right? Nope. The only Merriweather song on the setlist was "Summertime Clothes." "Did You See The Words?" and "Brother Sport" found their way onto the set, but the rest of it was unreleased music. It's a cool idea, but for most of the set to be full of songs the crowd has never heard? Risky move to say the least.
Looking at thesetlist now, it's clear that most of those songs were from Centipede Hz, which wouldn't be released for another year and a half.
I still feel the same way about those songs as I do now--they're weird, I can't quite get into them, and I'd still rather listen to Feels, but that's just one person's opinion.
But Animal Collective is all about weirdness; that's part of the appeal. The band's Coachella set was full of crazy lights that made the songs somewhat unsettling. I'm curious to see how this would translate to an indoor venue--it would probably be cool at Marquee.
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A festival performance doesn't necessarily let you gauge whether a band is good live. The intimate setting of Marquee is promising: you may actually be able to see Geologist's headlamp without squinting at a video feed. Animal Collective does, in fact, sound good live, but my experience at Coachella still has me hesitating about buying a ticket. I know I'd still hold out for songs like "My Girls" and "Fireworks" that may never come, but if you're a big fan of Centipede Hz and hearing new Animal Collective cuts before anyone else, by all means get one.
As for me, I'll be keeping an eye on Setlist.fm to get a sense of what the band is playing on this tour. For all I know, I'll finally be able to hear my beloved "My Girls" live.
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