As Halloween approaches, Redbrick Music previews some of our city's spookiest nightsWritten by Emily Barker, Sorcha Hornett, Issy Campbell & Greg Woodin on 23rd October 2017
Live Review: Glass Animals
Music Editor Holly Carter reviews an electric performance from Glass Animals
Kicking the night off with the lead single and certified banger ‘Life Itself’ from How To Be A Human Being, Glass Animals had the crowd in the palm of their hand from the beginning. With beats that radiated through your body and a sing-along chorus, the crowd were jumping and screaming along from start to finish. Next were a couple of hits from debut Zaba, ‘Black Mambo’ and ‘Hazey’. Though these two are not as fast-paced and energetic as many from their most recent album, they still managed to captivate the crowd and keep them dancing.
“With beats that radiated through your body and a sing-along chorus, the crowd were jumping and screaming along from start to finish.
This was not a moshy gig – it was a pop your hips and bob your head gig – but was no less exciting for it. Lead singer Dave Bayley has serious energy (so much so that my housemate said he was ‘probably on something’). Looking like a schoolboy who’s just discovered dancing, he hopped around the stage, jumping on top of the drumkit to sing emotional ballad-esque album closer ‘Agnes’, and on top of the speakers for ‘Youth’. Raising his hands to the crowd as he belted out Glass Animals’ typical smashing choruses, he seemed like a puppeteer, keeping everyone’s heads bopping and knees bending. When singing their first and most popular hit ‘Gooey’ towards the end of the set, he tottered on the barrier between crowd and stage. Everyone went mad for this one, screaming ‘you just wanna know those peanut butter vibes’ as Bayley held his mic out to the crowd, grinning.
Some of the more album tracks from How To Be A Human Being, ‘Poplar St’, ‘The Other Side of Paradise’, and ‘Cane Shuga’ were played in the middle of the set. Although not the commercial hits, this album has basically no duds, so these were still amazing to see, especially when interspersed with the fantastic singles ‘Season 2, Episode 3’ and ‘Youth’.
The light show throughout was incredible. With a smoke filled stage, the intense block colours that were flashed onto the stage looked dreamy, the energetic silhouettes of the band just visible through the coloured smog. It was so simple but so effective, and perfectly suited Glass Animals’ vibe and radiating beats, and the massive, pineapple shaped disco ball made it even better.
“With a smoke filled stage, the intense block colours that were flashed onto the stage looked dreamy, the energetic silhouettes of the band just visible through the coloured smog.
They finished off the main set with the emotional ‘Agnes’. This is a song about a lost young man who ‘see[s] the sad in everything, a / genius of love and loneliness’, and is much more personal and poignant than most of their catalogue. It’s one of my favourite Glass Animals songs, and it being played as the last song before the encore made it even more special. Standing on the bass drum and singing to the sky, Bayley’s declaration in an interview that ‘Agnes’ my favourite’ is evident.
Returning to the stage after screams of ‘we want more!’, the band finished with ‘Pools’ from Zaba and the most recently released single from last years album ‘Pork Soda’. Played faster than on record, ‘Pools’ was a euphoric celebration of everything that Glass Animals do best – tantilising riffs and hooks, electrifying drum beats and lyrics that seem always slightly beyond your reach. But ‘Pork Soda’ was the one everyone had been waiting for, the current hype song, the reason for the giant pinapple hanging above the band’s heads. Beginning with the fantastically strange chant of ‘pineapples are in my head / got nobody ‘cause I’m brain dead’, the crowd were ready to go nuts when the beat dropped. I’d heard rumours that a pineapple was thrown into the crowd at every show during this song, and when Bayley came running out with a pineapple, dancing around with it before launching it into the front of the crowd, I was delighted. This was a perfect way to end a fantastic show. Energetic, enticing and slightly strange, this gig was everything that Glass Animals’ music encompasses.