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LIVE REVIEW: Glass Animals W/ Mackintosh Braun Crystal Ballroom, Portland OR

The show begins with a local Portland band, Mackintosh Braun, combining the efforts of two friends, Ian Mackintosh and Ben Braun. Their chemistry translates well onto stage. During the first half of the set, the bass overwhelms the vocals. The band seems tentative at first, likely because of the problems with sound. However, they find their zone by the second half of the set, with “Made For Us,” dancing and bantering with each other around the stage.

It’s a few minutes, after their set before the entire audience start a series of slow claps which pick up speed until the 94.7 DJ announces Glass Animals.

The houselights fade to black as rainforest sound effects start. With the first drop of rain, the crowd is screaming. The second Glass Animals takes the stage, lead singer Dave Bayley wearing a huge smile on his face, completely in awe of the crowd. It’s clear he feels lucky to be here. Through each song, he uses the sparse stage set up, moving all over, embodying the music. After the second song, “Flip,” Bayley removes his shoes. It’s as though he is singing in his living room for his own pleasure.

Electronic-indie is probably the best way to describe their sound. The synth’s hypnotic feel pairs well with their vocals, creating an almost out of body experience. By the time “Gooey” begins, we are as connected to the music as the band is. Hearing us sing along and watching us move to the rhythm reminds Bayley why this show is so special: “I forgot to say, this is the biggest headlining show we’ve ever done!” Though Glass Animals is a British band, it’s Portland that’s given them their biggest audience to date.

Bayley and guitarist Drew MacFarlane use every corner of the stage as they move. They climb on the drum platform and monitors. Before “Cocoa Hooves” begins, Bayley dances on drummer Joe Seaward’s drum kit. He doesn’t seem to focus on how he’s moving or where he’s standing. It’s beautiful to watch.

For the encore, Glass Animals cover Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown.” Without West’s autotuning, you can almost imagine that this song has alt-rock roots. Bayley jumps into the aisle that runs through the audience. There is only one light in that area of the venue, making him look angelic. Even though this tour is currently in support of their debut album, it is only a matter of time before every show is sold out.

You can purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.

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Ariella Laichas-Malamud

Co-editor of this fine publication and loving every minute of it. Music is my life as seen by all of my usernames. When I'm not doing music, I'm watching netflix or talking about poetry. Native to sunny city by the beach, English major in one of the rainiest cities on earth.

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