Concert Review: Glass Animals at SOMA
By Jeffery Hallock. SOMA. September 21st 2015.
Glass Animals have only been around a few years but are already making big waves. They hit the festival scene hard this summer gracing the stages of Coachella, Wakarusa, Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and numerous others with their unique blend of electronic and indie rock. Their extensive tour included a San Diego stop in March that I regrettably missed, but fortunately for me they came back for a second round at SOMA Monday night.
Their debut album ZABA was well received and contained numerous standouts. One of my favorite parts of the album was the cover art that depicted a dark and mysterious jungle scape that fit the band’s style perfectly. At SOMA, the backdrop was a massive blowup of this artwork accompanied by large plastic palm trees that lined each side of the stage. It was somehow both an apt and ironic setting given the band’s name. While I actually had seen them at Outside Lands at the end of the summer, the outdoor stage they played didn’t do them or their music justice. By contrast, the dark and cavernous setting of SOMA fit them perfectly and was a central component to a great show.
The stage was backlit by massive bulb lights that had the band silhouetted in a fog of varying colors for a majority of the night. The Oxford based group came with plenty of energy as they danced and jumped around in rhythm with the crowd for the entirety of the hour plus performance. Lead singer Dave Bayley proved a worthy lead man, hopping up on speakers and getting down on his knees to shred the guitar to compliment his goofy, gyrating antics.
Not only were the Glass Animals an entertaining band, they backed it up with an aurally appealing set. They sprinkled their hits throughout the show, playing Hazy in the first third and dropping Gooey a little over halfway through. Being their most well known song, Gooey proved to be the peak of the show but they continued to rock the house even after a majority of those in attendance got what they came for. This included an amazing cover of Golden Lion by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and a less successful rendition (for me at least) of Kanye’s Love Lockdown. They finished the night with Pools, a wonderful track that I actually preferred as a closer to Gooey.
I’m admittedly reluctant to catch shows at SOMA. The venue doesn’t have much character and the lack of an age restriction leads to surreal moments where waist high 14 year olds politely push their way past you. However, the sound was excellent and the atmosphere was even better. Ultimately, Glass Animals were too good to pass up, regardless of the venue, and I’m glad I made my way down to Point Loma. It turned out to be a wonderful evening and opened me up to the idea another show at SOMA in the future.