Glass Animals: Next Stop, Nostalgia

Must read

Glass Animals invite the crowd to dive headfirst into a tropical pool of indie-pop nostalgia. 

“Did you know I was born here? This is like a homecoming show for me,” shouted Dave Bayley, lead singer of Glass Animals, as neon lights flashed and a giant computer screen flickered. That wasn’t the only return that night: flashes of home videos of kids playing with LEGOs, songs that referenced Pokémon and Scooby Doo, 90s style animations, distorted VHS glitch stripes and Rubik’s cubes all transported the crowd to (more) youthful days. 

And with a stage setup packed with palm trees and a diving board Bayley and crew were ready to give us the summer that (due to COVID) we didn’t have. “Hot sugar in the afternoon,” sang Bayley, as a giant computer screen glowed with graphics that melted and oozed like the indie-pop music the band played. 

Hazey” (off Zaba, which sports foliage-filled cover art). When he wasn’t singing, he frantically moved his hands, as if banging out the xylophone sounds that filled the instrumental breaks. Rough, growly and deep “oohs” propelled us into “The Other Side of Paradise,” as the computer screen had us turning corners of James Turell-inspired rooms. 

The show slowed down with “Take A Slice,” and at times, it sounded like we had fallen off the edge of the poolside prop submerged underwater: the vocals and melodies were muddied with an extremely loud bass. But, for the most part, Glass Animals was determined to sink us into nostalgia. 2014 hit “Gooey” started off with two false starts, but Bayley laughed it off and bounced back, shouting “Ready?” It was echoey and dreamy, until the bass kicked in and jolted us awake. As Bayley danced, he pointed out to members of the crowd with the neck of his guitar. 

The final song was “Pork Soda,” which was more piña colada than soft drink. It was injected with frantic energy. It was a pineapple thrusting party. It was packed with explosive piano and guitar solos. When it ended, Bayley whipped the mic around to the crowd and spun offstage. The screen flashed a message (“This will install the Glass Animals encore service pack. Do you wish to continue?”) and the audience hammered their chairs in response. Onscreen, 8-bit cars drove us through Hollywood as crowd favorites “Tokyo Drifting” and “Heatwaves” are revealed as the true closers. 

More articles

Latest article