The unique jungle-inspired sounds of UK band Glass Animals’s debut “Zaba” struck a chord with many people, so much so that they sold out 9:30 Club last year and played for an even larger crowd this year at Echostage. In support of their sophomore album, the well-received How to Be a Human Being, the band put on a high-energy performance deserving of Echostage’s 6,000-capacity crowd.
The band used a full range of instruments to adapt the unique sound of their albums to the live stage - many of the songs benefitted from an extra heaping of electric guitar and live percussion. In keeping with the jungle theme, drummer Joe Seaward had many strange instruments at his disposal, like a pineapple shaker and wood waterfall chimes, and even performed barefoot.
The dance party didn’t stop thanks to the on-stage antics of singer Dave Bayley, who often elicited screams, cheers and lyrics from the crowd every time he began dancing at the stage’s edge. The screams became louder once he entered the crowd to sing their unique cover of Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” from atop the bar countertop. Older songs like “Zaba” and “Hazey” received huge receptions from the crowd, as did new songs like “Youth”.
By the time confetti rained down onto the crowd near the end of the set, Glass Animals proved that they have the stage presence and songs to be right at home at the massive Echostage. Their offbeat pop music had the crowd dancing all night and Bayley’s energetic frontman status both as a vocalist and a guitarist is strong amongst his guitar-wielding and singing peers. Though their debut album will likely remain a stronger memory for fans, their new songs hold their own in concert very well.
Opening band Pumarosa received some buzz at SXSW earlier this year and demonstrated why they deserve that praise and more. Though they went on stage later than expected, they gained lots of new fans from those trying to get a good spot for Glass Animals. Singer Isabel Munoz-Newsome is not only a fierce guitarist to be reckoned with, she has tribal dance moves to boot. This kind of hypnotic performance paired with long-running tracks like “Priestess” makes them a unique rock band to watch out for. Their debut self-titled EP was released on September 7 on Fiction Records.