Glass Animals’ dream-rock sound captivates crowd

Courtesy of MICHELLE YANG Hailing from Oxford, Glass Animals performed songs from their debut album at Rams Head Live!

Courtesy of MICHELLE YANG
Hailing from Oxford, Glass Animals performed songs from their debut album at Rams Head Live!

By MICHELLE YANG
For The News-Letter

English band Glass Animals brought their signature brand of psychedelic indie rock to Ram’s Head Live! this past Wednesday, performing one of the final shows of their 2015 North American tour. The band, who released their debut album Zaba in June 2014, entertained the crowd with fan favorite songs, putting on a strikingly dreamy show.

When Glass Animals arrived on stage, brightly colored smoke punctured by flashing lights created a hazy, yet dynamic atmosphere that was perfect for the reverberating beats and sounds that Zaba has to offer. Between the smoke and palm trees that stood like columns onstage, the venue was transformed from a medium sized concert hall into a tropical enclave.

All of these elements combined provided a surreal experience.

The band opened their set with “Walla Walla,” which begins with a crescendo of drums and eventually their signature immersive jungle timbres. The song immediately set the mood of the concert, and audience members began swaying to the music as lead singer David Bayley’s airy falsetto filled the venue.

The crowd got more hyped up when the most popular song on the album, “Gooey,” came on towards the middle of the set.

The crowd was enthralled with the dreamy lyrics and synthy vibes of the song.

“Right, my little pooh bear, wanna take a chance? / You just wanna know those peanut butter vibes,” Bayley sang. Particularly noteworthy moments of the concert came after the band’s encore when Glass Animals surprised the crowd with an amazing rework of Kanye West’s 2008 hit song “Love Lockdown.”

To the delight of Rams Head Live! audience members, Bayley jumped down from the stage during this cover and waded through the audience. The energy level was amazingly upbeat and the song was an absolute success, with almost all audience members singing along.

Going out with a bang, the band chose to end with a fan favorite, their song “Pools.” With the crowd still buzzing from “Love Lockdown,” audience members were hyped, with just about everyone vibing and dancing to the music. At the height of this excitement, the band sent the crowd into a frenzy by tossing a pineapple (an unspoken tradition during their North American tour) into the crowd.

Emanating a young, hip persona, Glass Animals appeals to many college-aged music listeners. Some of the Hopkins students in attendance used this surreal concert as an escape from their hectic schedules during this time in the semester.

“The concert was a completely transportive experience. It helped me totally forget my week of midterms and was exactly what I needed,” sophomore Karina Ikeda said.

The opening band, Charly Bliss, a New York-based group who describe their style as “bubble-grunge,” lived up to their name and did a strong job of pepping up the crowd with their frenetic, indie rock. Lead singer Eva Hendricks’s presence onstage was a cross between pop-punk princess and your teenage sister going through her rebellious phase; Her ponytail stood cartoonishly straight up, bopping around as she jumped energetically around stage during guitar solos.

Through a combination of frantic energy and seemingly serious subjects (Hendricks’s therapist was a featured song topic), Charly Bliss provided a spirit of lively boisterousness, an interesting contrast to vibey nature of Glass Animals.

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