By Tim Jordan:
On September 30, millennials huddled under umbrellas and dashed across intersections with jackets pulled over their heads and hands in their pockets, splashing to dry safety under the big white overhang that makes up Blue Hills Bank Pavilion.
As the first openers, Pumarosa, began to play, eager concertgoers began to fill up the 5,000 venue seats. Pumarosa offered a fitting ambiance as the crowd grew. By the time they waved goodbye and the final opener, D.R.A.M, came on, nearly all the seats were filled and everyone was on their feet.
During D.R.A.M’s signature song, Broccoli, all hands were up and bobbing and the energy in the crowd was alive. Rain drummed heavily on the tarpish ceiling and dripped and splashed at its edges while the crowd sat in anticipation of the main act.
Glass Animals is an indietronica alternative psych-pop band out of Oxford, England, touring for their second studio album, How to be a Human Being. The Lights vanished and as the wubby deep-bass synth shook the respective soles of the crowd members, signaling the music was soon to start, hands flew up and anticipatory screams collected as a single massive voice, beckoning the band to appear.
Purple and orange lights swung and flashed across the ceiling welcoming Glass Animals to the Stage. “Youth,” a single from their newest album, began their performance with a familiar and distinctive snare beat that provoked a flare of audible recognition to erupt around the listeners.
Four 30-foot tall, orange L-shaped blocks hung above the stage, reminiscent of either Tetris, or their new geometrically themed album cover. The Glass Animals sound is unique, edgy and somehow creamy, almost like eating mayonnaise from a jar. Dave Bayley’s smooth voice and seamless lyrics over generally bouncy and elastic synth-plucks, all on top of clean, simple percussion creates a distinctly Glass Animals Sound.
Almost the entire How to be a Human Being tracklist was performed by the end of the night. some highlights including “Season 2, Episode 3” and the crowd pleaser, “Gooey” from their debut album, Zaba. Bayley spun and clutched his head while he delivered a passionate 2 hour performance, announcing the audience before him was the biggest they’d “ever had.”
However it was undeniable that the energy was not 100% there. For such a danceable band, very few audience members were doing more than shuffling their feet and waving their arms. At times it seemed like the each member was playing at different intensities, and the collaborative energy dragged. But the reduced intensity fit well with the open indoor/outdoor feel of the venue, and meshed nicely with the playful lights and the backdrop of drizzly Boston rain.