Early January is like second Christmas. It’s that magical time of year when all sorts of wondrous sideshows bear down upon us from the heavens in the wake of those New Years’ music festivals that we just couldn’t get to. After missing their show earlier in the year I was stoked to get tickets to Glass Animals at The Hi-Fi in Melbourne. The guys delivered an eclectic show comprised of their unique electro-pop-hip-hop sound that made for a great night.
The new album by Glass Animals, Zaba, is said to be influenced by books such as ‘Heart of Darkness’ and ‘The Island of Dr Moreau’. For those of you who don’t know, these novels have eerie settings in far-off Jungles full of the weird, dangerous and unknown. GA emulated this, not just in their music, but also in their props, with leafy pot plants placed around the stage, that lead singer Dave Bayley climbed upon, jumped off and hid within throughout the show. It was like Jumanji came to The Hi-Fi.
A real highlight of the show was the wild antics of the lead singer. Bopping and creeping at the front of the stage he was like Eminem writ small; full of attitude, gesticulations and personality coming out of his ears. He worked the crowd with his delivery, and excited us even more by actually coming down off the stage and into the audience a fair few times. During ‘Walla Walla’ where the lyrics go “take my hand, take my hand” he actually reached out and let the audience take his hand. I deeply regret not arriving earlier to get a spot closer to the front.
GA didn’t do a set in the order that one would have probably thought they would have played their songs. I was mightily confused when they opted for ‘Gooey’ mid-way through their set, assuming that it was a shoe-in for being played last. They allayed my fears by coming back from the encore with their cover of Kanye West‘s ‘Love Lockdown.’ They finished off with ‘Pools,’ an exciting and uplifting track with jungle beats and a catchy chorus that got the crowd singing along. I suspect they also played the chorus/outro a few more times than it was in the recording – but I’m definitely not complaining.
Overall the Glass Animals gig was energetic, whacky and not at all what I was expecting. Seeing them play live, with the delivery of their frontman, you can definitely hear their influences of Dr. Dre and Hip-Hop coming through.