Animal Collective returns to Knoxville

Animal Collective played a show on Thursday night, May 18th in Knoxville’s Old City at The Mill & Mine. The band has released two new EP’s this year – The Painters & Meeting of the Waters – this tour being the first for Animal Collective since releasing new music earlier this year.

Opener Circuit des Yeux was a good choice to get the show started, as her blend of acoustic guitar along with an interesting vocal style grasped the listeners in the audience that had not heard her music before. While the set was mellow in comparison to the high-energy set that Animal Collective would go on to perform, Circuit still did a great job of preparing the audience for the show.

After Circuit des Yeux’s set, Animal Collective soon took the stage. The performance put on by the group was energetic and engaging from start to finish. Animal Collective played songs from their entire catalog, including “Floridada” & “Lying In The Grass” from their most recent full-length album Painting With, along with fan-favorites “Daily Routine” & “Summertime Clothes” from their acclaimed album Merriweather Post Pavilion. The stage setup and accompanying light show was colorful and frantic, with flashing lights being projected across odd sculpture-like faces. The audience in attendance was both entranced and immersed, rhythmic dancing going hand-in-hand with fascination.

animalcoll.jpgAfter performing “Summertime Clothes”, and getting the whole crowd moving in the process, Animal Collective thanked the fans in attendance and exited the stage. The crowd continued cheering with volume, and after several minutes the band returned to the stage for an encore. The encore included “Bees” from their 2005 full-length album Feels before the set was closed with their new single “Kinda Bonkers” off of The Painters EP.

The performance put on by Animal Collective furthered my appreciation for their music and talent. It is hard to think of a band that puts on a show as engaging and groovy as Animal Collective. Avey Tare, Panda Bear, & Geologist are fantastic performers and can create an atmosphere at their shows unlike anything else. Avey Tare stated halfway through their set that one of Animal Collective’s first shows was 16 years ago in Knoxville, so returning after such a successful career was really significant. The band is on tour throughout the United States for the next several months. Tickets and info are available here.

Animal Collective’s music can be heard right here in Knoxville on WUTK 90.3 FM The Rock.

– Chris Mills