Jack not Max reviews Animal Collective LIVE at Merriweather Post Pavilion!

 Kevin here. Jack is BACK!!! And this time he's here to dish us all the trippy details from the Animal Collective show this past Saturday! For those of you who don't recognize the name you can see how all this came about right here, but I'll give you the condensed version. Jack loves rock. Jack plays rock. Jack thinks about rock all day. Jack is sort of the embodiment of why this site exists in the first place. Jack is also 15 years old. Everything you read and see from hear on out is unfiltered, unedited Jack and we couldn't be more pleased to have him on board. This is how most of us used to see music, but there's no reason we can't see it this way again. So get ready, because here comes some unedited, unfiltered JACK!

All words/photos by Jack 

From the moment we showed up it was evident this would not be like any other show I’d been to. We pulled in, and right behind us came a station wagon and occupants that looked like they could have easily come from the 60s if not for a little NPR sticker inside the window. Then we walked in and found a spot on the lawn and near us was a man with the lyrics to “taste” painted down his back and arms. The crowd consisted almost entirely of hippies and hipsters, such that if a man WAS wearing a shirt it was most likely collared, buttoned neatly, and tucked into his shorts.

But no matter! The show promised to be good even before it started, with a stage adorned in fake vines, crystal-like structures that lit from the inside, and a giant face in the back of the stage. Though most of these props went fairly unused by the two opening acts. Deradoorian, the first opening act, was a lone woman (she’s in Dirty Projectors) with a sweet and a few keyboards and drum machines. Her set was quiet but melodic and enjoyable, though it ended quickly.

On to the next act! Black Dice seemed to be a mismatch for this show… they didn’t seem to have many fans in the audience but they soldiered through a noisy set that usually sounded like some sort of robotic armageddon. I didn’t enjoy it, but I could see where they sort of overlap with some of AC’s stuff. they have in common a love for weird textures, samples, and heavy use of electronics. But if you’re someone who isn’t so much into noise like myself, it got old pretty quickly.

And then: Animal Collective! The band entered, the set came ALIVE, flashing an exciting array of colors, and the music began… and it was NEW! In fact, it seemed they played at least a whole EP’s worth (maybe an album’s worth) of new material. Which they really should get to recording (please, guys?). Their performance was sufficiently trippy, and to add to the great sounds and lights, there were smells to go with, if you catch my drift. A good portion of the people on the lawn were doing something, be it cigarettes, pot, alcohol, or hell, I don’t even know. And when they finally played something everyone knew (“Brother Sport”) the crowd went WILD. Everyone danced and sang along, and the light show became especially dazzling. After that, it was back to either new stuff or a song or two off Feels and Sung Tongs. They ended the set with a dazzling version of “Summertime Clothes” (see below), and then the lights went out.

But of course that wasn’t the end. We all knew that. After much cheering for an encore they returned and played… quietly? Well, they played two songs that were new and quieter than most of their set, and then ended with “Taste”, which we all enjoyed, but wasn’t the type of song you’d usually choose for an encore. Either way… It was awesomely trippy. I don’t know if they’re taking the set on the road with them or it was just for Merriweather, but it was amazing. I’m looking forward to whatever they release next. If it contains even half of what they played saturday night, it’ll be great. 

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And there you have it! Tune in next time for another dose of raw, unfiltered Jack. We're out!