Concert Review: Glass Animals lights up Echostage
The Oxford-based band delivered a vibrant performance on Sept. 25
Echostage was filled with confetti, colorful lights and good vibes Sunday night, as indie pop band Glass Animals brought its hotly anticipated “How To Be A Human Being” tour to the D.C. venue.
English rock band Pumarosa performed a quick opening set that seemed at odds with the audience's upbeat mood. The band's industrial alt rock sound was too slow at times but too harsh at others, leaving the crowd mostly disinterested, restless and ready for the main act. Despite a rocky start, Pumarosa finished strong with Priestess, a better-known single that fit the crowd's vibe more than the previous dark, discordant tunes.
The crowd lit up once Glass Animals hit the stage, ushered in by the fast spoken word track “Premade Sandwiches” and kicking off strong with “Life Itself”, the new album’s most popular single. The crowd mirrored lead singer Dave Bayley’s energy, dancing to the beat and sing-shouting the spirited chorus “gotta get back, gotta get free.” Mellower hits “Youth,” “Black Mambo” and “Hazey” followed, but their heavy beats kept the crowd energized and moving.
While Bayley didn’t put much effort into charming the crowd, most attendees were still relentlessly enthusiastic throughout the set. Every song—even less popular tracks like “Cane Shuga” and “Cocoa Hooves”—was met with a high level of energy. Bayley seemed almost taken aback by the loud cheers that echoed throughout the arena, at one point offering an abashed “thanks” in response to the non-stop thunderous applause. “Gooey”, the band’s best-known track, received the loudest response, as the crowd filled the space with shouts of “peanut butter vibes.”
When calls for one more song resounded throughout the arena, Glass Animals returned for a memorable encore. Bayley hit the floor for the first song, a cover of Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown”. The tribal drums and moody sound of West’s 2008 hit fit perfectly with the set, and people surrounded Bayley as he danced through the crowd. The night ended with “Pork Soda”, a surprising crowd-pleaser that had everyone singing along to the catchy chorus “pineapples are in my head.”
It seems two years off the radar did little to take away from Glass Animals’ infectious hype. With an even mix of new and old, slow and fast songs, the band created a fun, dynamic atmosphere that kept everyone captivated throughout the night.