Coming off the fresh excitement for their latest album, How to be a Human, Oxford-bred Glass Animals held a small concert at the Village studios in West LA (with sponsorship from Spotify and Icebreakers). Waiting in line for this event felt like an eternity, but now I also have enough ice-breakers to last me until the sun dies.
With the voices of wise men, Glass Animals guided us through a haze of sounds thick enough to smear against your skin. Coupled with intimate, smoky staging, the Animals created a space perfect for displaying their warm, soothing sound. Lead singer, Dave Bayley, walked between indie-balladeer and hyped MC, a winning combination for the ambient hip-hop elements welded into Glass Animals’ music. While many bands suffer from an exuberant, over-bearing lead vocalist, the Animals put on a show where each member lined up alongside each other; it showcased the collaborative effort which goes into their music, and gave a viewer much more appreciation for the band rather than just the front-man.
This communal effort permeated the room, with the audience merely a few feet from the same band about to play the Greek Theater this weekend. Instead of separation, the Animals blurred the lines between audience and artist to generate the balminess present in their tracks; the sap-sweet stickiness of “Gooey” stood as a highlight of this effect. Bayley enjoined the audience into a call-and-response, while characters from …Human’s album artwork cavorted amongst the band.
That’s not to say everything came across humid and heavy. In fact, a rousing cover of the Dixie Cups “Iko Iko” loosened the vibes of the room, eventually leading to the joyful soundscapes of “Pools”. It provided a fitting finale to a temperate evening, one that mirrored the ebb of summer’s warmth.