“Plants and Animals” is an apt name for a band that doesn’t quite know what it is. They’ve been around for ten years, but their LPs make a pretty good go of trying to cover every genre without settling on one cohesive ideal, like a collection of musical schizophrenia. The band’s show on Friday at the Red Palace maintained that vein, and if you closed your eyes and simply listened, you would at times have had no idea if you were listening to fellow Canadians Arcade Fire or an old Rush album.
The show opened with a great big wall of dancey-jammy-basey sound and a “How’re you doing, Austin?” We’ll excuse the confusion, P&A, because you’ve been on constant tour and openly said how damn tired everyone was, you had five dates at SXSW last month (but then again, even that guy who plays the plastic tubs outside the Verizon Center had a five-show gig at SXSW this year), and it’s not like you can see the Washington Monument from H Street. Moving quickly into “Good Friend,” from 2008’s Parc Avenue, proved a solid move -- the three-quarter capacity crowd broke into spontaneous mass head-bobbing, and who wouldn’t love a song that includes the lyrics “It takes a good friend to say you’ve got your head up your ass?” The audience largely consisted of a few mega-fans and the people they’d dragged with them, so getting right to a good, hooky song led to a whole lot of See, man, I told you they were awesome.