While I have never big a huge fan of Black Dice, Eric Copeland’s opening set was a brilliant mindfuck. Drowned in almost indecipherable noise, each song flirted with melody, while maintaining a glorious and painful rough edge. I’m going to go back now and explore the Black Dice catalog and the rest of Copeland’s solo work immediately. Here’s a video from the performance of “Fun Dink Death” that liberateanimals5 took from the balcony:
Avey Tare’s (aka Dave Portner) set up was more basic than what he does for Animal Collective. The solo show featured some samplers, effects, a mixer, and, of course, his mic. There was no guitar or live drums, and Portner confirmed that he wouldn’t be playing any Animal Collective tracks when we passed him at the bar before the show. The result was an uber-emotional performance of tracks mostly from last year’s criminally-overlooked and intensely dark album, Down There, which was inspired by a few enveloping personal issues that Portner was going through at the time, including a divorce from his wife.
I’ve always enjoyed Animal Collective as a studio band more than a live band. While Animal Collective’s intricate collage of samples and loops has never been entirely engaging when recreated live, Portner’s energetic performances and vocal style have always been the exception for me. And it translated last night as well. There were distinct moments where Portner added textures, live loops and his signature and sporadic vocal yelps. Most Animal Collective fans seem to prefer Panda Bear’s solo work, but Avey Tare’s contributions have always engaged me more as a listener. Being able to check out one of your all-time favorite artists perform at your all-time favorite venue is not a bad way to spend a Thursday evening in the city. Check out a video of Avey Tare performing “Lucky 1” from last night’s show: