Concert Review: Animal Collective @Astra (Berlin)

Bringing complicated music from the studio up on stage has never been easy. Some bands don’t even tour because they just can’t realize their studio visions in public, often due to lack of the right technology. The right technology was also the only thing missing in a – apart from that – indeed sensational concert by Baltimore again four-piece Animal Collective at Berlins Astra club. Most affected by these little problems was comeback kid Deakin. He of all people, who joined the band again last year after leaving for a break in 2007. The problems went so far that Deakin had to stay on stage after the end of the regular concert and before the band would come out again for the encore so he could repair his equipment. After five minutes of trying to fix it the crowd started cheering – Deakin finally communicated: “This is looking good.”

That was about a good hour after the concert had started. Up to this moment Animal Collective had played an energetic and very rockish concert with Avey Tare flamingly shouting like being in a hc-band and Panda Bear on drums, whilst Geologist modified the beats and Deakin on guitar, fighting his electronics. It was unusual seeing the AC with this setup after all these concerts full of electronics in the last years, with the bands’ members just standing behind tables without much action for the audience to see. But playing as a more or less real band had the effect that not only the temperature but also the atmosphere in the venue rose quickly. This “live-feel” featuring lots of percussion with heavy Brazilian influence made the bands’ Sunday night concert at few points a pumping samba-rave – in this way unheard by this band so far. Featuring not only their newest songs from their latest effort “Centipede Hz” but also the greatest hits of their former records (“My Girls”, “Brother Sport”) everybody was happy with the bands’ repertoire for the night.

It showed that nothing can turn down Animal Collective, how bad the tech, how unusual the situation or however the crowd might be – their songs bring everybody behind them again.

Stream: Animal Collective – Live on KEXP (from Cutting Room Studios NYC)