Since the start of lockdowns and quarantining, gigs have basically gone extinct. As someone (anh) who use to go to a show every month, this has taken a terrible toll on my health... I'm actually falling apart! Deteriorating! Decaying? But enough about me! On September 25th, indie/psych/art pop outlet, Glass Animals, announced what they were calling a "one-off audiovisual experience"... aka Streamland! So we obviously HAD to watch and let you know what we thought!
I honestly had no idea what to expect going into this. Since hell broke loose in March, shows were put on pause and the streams I watched all took place out of artists’ studios and empty venues… Kinda underwhelming but a show nevertheless, right?
I could end the review right here by saying THIS LIVESTREAM WAS NOT UNDERWHELMING BY ANY MEANS
Maybe I feel this way because of how I watched it (outside via a projector with friends and thai food) but it was truly a unique/surreal/trippy/dreamy experience.
First off, the set production and overall aesthetic was like something out of a dreamland (i know that was cheesy, IM SORRY). BUT THERE WAS A LITERAL JUNGLE SURROUNDING THE STAGE. THERE WAS THE 90S COMPUTER CONSOLE. THERE WAS THE MAILBOX AND BALLOT. THERE WAS THE TANGERINE PINATA. THE POOL FLOAT. THE RACK OF CHILDHOOD COSTUMES. THE FLOATING PINEAPPLE. THE ZOOM BACKDROP OF FANS. I could go on and on but I’ll save you the hassle of having to read more of my talking in all caps. Actually, if I were talking to you, it'd be more of a yelling. So I'll spare you from my written screeching... you're welcome!
They started with "Dreamland" (because what else would you start with?) and continued with "Life Itself", "Tangerine" with a MESMERIZING appearance by Arlo Parks, "Hazey" with an accompanying dance by the hypnotizing Kaner Flex, "Black Mambo", "Hot Sugar", "Tokyo Drifting" with a computer cameo by Denzel Curry, "The Other Side of Paradise", "Space Ghost Coast to Coast", "Heat Waves", "Season 2 Episode 3", "Youth", "Your Love (Deja Vu)", "Gooey", and "Pork Soda" to end.
Every song was played through perfectly (i’m not kidding when i say perfectly, who let dave have a voice like that?!), leaving my friends and I singing and dancing along as we shoveled pineapple fried rice and rad na into our mouths. Something beautiful for you to imagine to go along with the band’s set design!
Although the backdrop of fans singing along behind the band's performance of "Heat Waves" was one of the most notable parts of the set, I personally think the best song of the night was "Youth". A longtime favorite of mine by the quartet, the use of home videos, from both the band and fans, somehow made the song even more poignant than it already was. On the surface, "Youth" sounds like a tune about, well, youth. Spending time with friends, experiencing and learning new things, the whole nine yards. However, a closer listen to the lyrics would argue otherwise. Written from the perspective of a parent speaking to their child, Bayley was inspired by a story told by an individual he had met on tour some years back. He claimed in an interview with NPR, "It was one of the saddest things I'd ever heard, and she was on the verge of crying... but she also had a sense of optimism and calm. Something in her face said she'd found a way to be happy again." From the candid shots of loved ones to clips of kids dancing in the kitchen, from family beach days to the fading shot of a cherry blossom tree, everyone's VHS videos truly helped illustrate the mishmosh of feelings that saturate the song... making it the best performance of the stream.
The worst part of this experience? The fact that they didn't play "Waterfalls Coming Out Your Mouth"... and the fact that it wasn't actually "live" but I'll let it slide because I had a great time.
If this is what their virtual shows are like, I can't wait for the day where I'm standing in some club watching them tear up the stage. Fingers crossed that's sometime safe and soon!
We sang, dance, ate, and I cried...
The only ingredients you'll need for a perfect night!
Glass Animals brought us a revolutionary concert setting in the middle of a pandemic. In the absence of live tours in physical venues, we were still blessed to see these four perform in an iconic, albeit virtual, way. I honestly hadn’t heard of them before this year when planning to go to a show of theirs back in March. Sadly, that ended up selling out and the rest of the concerts got canceled. Anh and I were lucky enough to win the ALT 98.7 contest, leaving us with tickets, a meet and greet with the band, and free merchandise. We’re still waiting on the merch, but the Zoom meet and greet and concert were quarantine activities to top them all. It was cool that they had different concerts for different time zones, but I was sad that our LA show wasn’t able to be part of the Zoom background screen that was broadcasted during one of their songs. The fact that there were only three times available makes the back of the tour shirt much less interesting. Their most thrilling performance was Tangerine which ended with the grand finale of breaking open a confetti-filled tangerine pinata. This was one for the books. I hope I can see them when they get back to in-person touring, but this experience was not to be discounted.
The show was a great experience despite being online. All members of the band performed exceptionally well, especially Dave, as he ran around and danced without a
screaming audience throwing their shirts and bras at him. I really liked the vapor wave/retro video gaming visuals and decor. All of the guest appearances were so impactful, especially Arlo Parks... She has a really light and smooth voice that sounds heavenly. My favorite song they performed was "The Other Side of Paradise" and I thought the audience zoom calls in the background of "Heat Waves" was a nice touch. Lastly, I think Dave should have hit the tangerine more than once because maybe it’s symbolic for something... or someone? All in all, a spectacular show. So glad to have had Glass Animals be the second concert I've ever been to.
ACTUALLY, this was the best part of the livestream :)
Did you get a chance to catch their set? What'd you think! How'd you like their latest album, Dreamland?