Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Animal Collective @ Prospect Park (7.12.2011)

We've been lucky enough to catch Animal Collective three times prior to this performance, our favorite of the three being at Prospect Park in August of 2009.  The atmosphere and incredible stage design by Abby Portner at the bandshell two summers ago certainly contributed to our love for the show, as well as our excitement when we heard that the band would be returning to the park this year.  Animal Collective, being our favorite band for many years now, has never disappointed us with any of their music (live or studio) and this time was no exception.

Since early April, the band has been touring a new set of songs with some old favorites mixed in.  Unlike past eras, Animal Collective has played the same set at each show since the Spring and just recently added in the song Taste to the encore.  We both have been avid followers of each recording that has surfaced featuring their new material and have developed an extensive familiarity with the songs.  The new songs certainly convey matured themes and song writing style, and having Deakin back is an absolute treat.

Like with the Prospect Park show in 2009, Abby Portner designed another killer stage set up for this string of summer shows and it is even more psychedelic than her previous one.  As Animal Collective played throughout the night an enormous skull lit up with images and colors through the holes and colorful triangular pieces, stringed metallic bats dangled on strands of lights, space themed tapestries hung from the ceiling of the bandshell, gigantic crystals were placed all over the stage, and videos were projected on what appeared to be icicles on the ceiling. It was an incredible sight.

The night started with some delays due to some of the decorations on stage; the band also had a false start on the song Change (seemingly due to a technical problem or lack of communication), but once things got going the music was flawless. The new set sounds something like a space carnival thats is in constant danger of derailing itself. As opposed to the last few years of Animal Collective sets, this one is truly a full band effort, with each member providing key parts to every song.  It was evident with the majority of the crowd that more older songs, specifically off of 2009's Merriweather Post Pavilion, were expected and consequently, there seemed to be a bit of disappointment and confusion throughout the venue. It's a shame that some people felt that way because they obviously are not familiar with how Animal Collective has conducted their live shows over the last decade (ie: playing mostly new material with a handful of reworked older songs).

We recorded the show from the center of the floor.  Because the Prospect Park Bandshell is such a gigantic venue in addition to being an outdoors one, it is difficult to determine where to get the best sound especially when you're surrounded by groups of morons who felt it was necessary to clap along (entirely off beat) to every new song and talk throughout the entire performance.  Also, we didn't have the option of standing at a higher level or by the soundboard to avoid crowd noise.  However, despite these minor set backs I do believe we captured a really good recording of the night. The song titles for the new jams were given their names by members of Collected Animals when Animal Collective began touring this new set and are NOT official.

Download the live recording HERE (password=twosails)

Set List:
1. Change
2. Let Go
3. Did You See The Words
4. A Long Time Ago
5. Take This Weight
6. Knock You Down
7. Brothersport
8. Mercury
9. Your Choice
10. Frights
11. We Tigers
12. Summertime Clothes
13. Encore
14. I'd Rather
15. Little Kid
16. Taste

Let Go:


  1. Thanks for doing this guys! Totally psyched to have this memory recorded forever! :-)

  2. Do you have black dice's set?

  3. Black Dice's set is up now in its own post!

  4. Would you be able to upload this here?:
    I think a lot more people would see and appreciate it if you can. If you need help, I could upload it for you. =]