Hmm, as a fellow audience member at Pitchfork, I felt compelled to write a dissenting opinion of the Animal Collective Pitchfork performance.
In an hour long set, they played five recognizable tracks to my ears: “Did You See the Words?,” “Taste,” “Brother Sport,” “Summertime Clothes,” and “We Tigers.” The rest were songs I had not heard before. At first, I thought they may have been tracks that I did not immediately know or from long-forgotten EPs that few know about, but I soon learned that this is AC’s style: They normally play new songs and leave the recorded ones for your CD players.
This reality provides a trade-off of musical experience: While I expected to find myself singing “Fireworks” or “What Would I want? SKY!” while frolicking amongst the crowd, I instead stoically listened and became enthralled by magical moments within the dreamy AC tunes. This introspection, I believe, to be a truly powerful moment when shared by hundreds of people who I only share the common experience of being there in that moment and loving Animal Collective. So, I suppose, there is truth that Animal Collective did not produce a physical party, but instead, they induced a thought collective that produced deeper connections than the normal ones experienced by “being there.”
The surroundings further produced this similar sentiment. The weird high-school theatre-esque set and the psychedelic video showing on the large television screen all encouraged dreaming more-so than dancing. I believe their own “inaction” on the stage was not as a result of indifference but instead an attempt to encourage mental dancing to the beats of the unrecognizable yet enjoyable tunes.
This perhaps is appropriate for a band who seem to be in a perpetual state of dreaming themselves. Listen to Animal Collective and you will realize that they seem to encourage mental excursions much more so than physical ones, so in the end, I suppose Animal Collective played and acted much as I should have anticipated; and as my love grows each day for their music, so does it for their performance at Pitchfork that lovely Friday evening.