Animal Collective Thoughts

We had the pleasure of webcasting Animal Collective at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., last night. You can hear the entire concert here — and, of course, on the All Songs Considered Live Concert Podcast.

Here's a photo gallery from the performance, by photographer Shantel Mitchell:

I quite liked the show, but this wasn't the concert I thought I'd hear, given the hyperactive sound of Animal Collective's latest album, Merriweather Post Pavilion.

The concert's energy level was more ethereal than exuberant. Songs felt full of buildup without the expected payoff — but, then again, there was a lot of pleasure to be had in the anticipation, plus a new tune with the tentative title "Bleed."

I also felt like there was a lot of improvising going on. I've been wrong about this before with groups like Sigur Ros — a band I was sure did a lot of onstage improv, only to find the group insulted by my suggestion. The members of Sigur Ros think of their music as composed, not improvised.

So what did you think of either this or a recent Animal Collective performance? Did you find this concert somewhat sleepy compared to the band's other shows?

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