Teetering on the brink of sheer genius
July 4 at Arena
As something of a wildcard in the concert lineup, experimental band Animal Collective were always bound to cause a slight bit of controversy or turn out to be sheer genius, or perhaps do both. Animal Collective, or simply AnCo as their fan base affectionately term them, stepped on as the last act on Roskilde’s Arena stage and after a slow start wound up delivering what will surely be one of the most seminal concerts of this year’s event. The boundary-breaking trio were in peak form throughout a concert that ventured into the dreamy, contemplative territory frequented by the psychedelic enthusiasts from Baltimore.
Animal Collective stepped on to an ornate stage, colourfully adorned and laden with elaborate stage props that magnified the presence of the trio. A weave of trippy visual effects interspersed with adroit if not abstract tunes for the first half hour or so set the stage for a concert that grew in personality as the minutes ticked.
Such was the experimental feel to Animal Collective’s opening that many would be forgiven for losing interest in the concert from the word go. An over-zealous approach and poor sound were to blame, yet remarkably the trio from Baltimore were able to dynamically and eloquently erase any poor first impressions with a performance that peaked in its closing stages. Improved acoustics midway through the proceedings certainly played a part in this, though credit is due to the creativity and boundary-pushing musical ethos that competently underscored the better part of the show. Animal Collective veered between sounding like the path of a raindrop in a thunderstorm to a drum set in an ethereal catacomb, a juxtaposition that evidenced their creative genius. Each song in their hour and half long set was built from the bottom up, generating a beautiful psychedelic sequence of layers that unfolded into picturesque musical soundscapes that piqued the imaginative character of everyone present. The show ended with a stage that was awash with a myriad of colours from the captivating light show, backed by passionate, experimental sounds provided the imaginative, hard-to pigeon-hole feel of Animal Collective.
The band produced one of the most artistic, creative concerts that this reviewer has come across and will surely carve out a name for themselves in Denmark after a performance of magnanimous stature.