Two dynamic acts collided and put on one hell of a show at Union Transfer Monday night. I’m still left wondering if it was actually a concert or one big party. Many fans were dressed up in costumes, although it was hard to tell if it was for Halloween or just the ambiance of the night; in fact, costumes would have made sense even if it was Christmas. Animal Collective and Dan Deacon proved themselves to be an unbelievable team.
Animal Collective and Dan Deacon Join Forces at Union Transfer
The night started off with a mystery masked DJ in the corner of the venue, playing a mixture of hip-hop, reggae, and pop-style beats that meshed flawlessly together. The crowd was fully immersed – which was a good thing considering the show started 30 minutes past the scheduled start time.
Next up was Dan Deacon – the dictator of dance music. Throughout his performance he transformed members into wildly dancing participants who were quick to do anything he said. Shortly into his set, Dan Deacon asked the crowd to make a circle – he pointed out two members into the middle of the venue and told them they had to dance, no matter how they did it. They would then have to grab two more people and so on, until the sold-out venue was one big dance-filled haven.
Dan Deacon constantly interacted with the crowd, telling stories about his cat shirt, how concerts reminded him how out of shape he is, and paying respects to the late Lou Reed. At times his performance felt more like an intimate house party, as he stood behind the small DJ set in the back spinning beats.
The party continued when he asked the crowd to split into two sides, again calling two people (who had the best masks) to dance, however this time, the crowd had to mimic what they did. It felt like a venue of robots, fans in sync with one another before once again erupting into a mass of dancing people. Dan Deacon was the perfect opener, transcending perfectly into the inviting atmosphere of the night.
Finally, it was Animal Collective’s turn. The stage was set beneath the widely-recognized blow-up teeth, catching the rhythmic patterns of projected lights during the course of the night. The band was cast in the darkness of the “mouth,” only slightly lit between the animated projections. With each member clad in their own costume, they fit the atmosphere perfectly – but what those costumes were, I have no idea.
Their performance was filled with the creative sounds that have made the band a household name, playing a majority of songs off arguably their best album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, including “My Girls,” “Lion in a Coma,” and “Brother Sport.”
It is unreal how the collaborative efforts of Animal Collective have formed into the underground masterminds they are today. I know many people who love the band yet cannot name a song – but they are entranced every time they hear them play. It’s something in the way their intricate waves of melodies mix with the psychedelic atmosphere to consume their fans – maybe that explains the mouth set display?
Animal Collective is the story of four best friends making music together. Each member comes from their own project, but Animal Collective far outshines it’s predecessors. It was the second sold-out show of their double header in Philadelphia, and between the powerful energy of Dan Deacon and Animal Collective’s vibrant performance, fans were left swallowed up in the magnitude of the night.
Article by Erika Reinsel