by Matt Kelchner
Friday night Animal Collective released their latest album, Painting With. That night they kicked off their US tour supporting the album at a way sold out show at Union Transfer. Unlike their past records, none of the songs were road tested prior to hitting the studios. With that said, the evening marked the first time most of the songs were played lived. While the night was marked as a celebration of the new, AnCo threw in a bit of the old into the mix. NYC hip hop group Ratking opened.
Standing side by side a la Kraftwerk style Panda Bear, Geologist and Avey Tare were positioned behind their stations after walking out to a roaring audience. Behind them stood giant statues resembling the Easter Island heads done in a Dadaist style. Beaming in front of everyone were moving images that ran the entire rainbow, courtesy of a massive projector positioned atop the second floor of the venue. Such was the environment Animal Collective engulfed the packed audience Friday night.
The set began with “Natural Selection” one of the many songs off Painting With that made it’s debut. Others included “The Burglars”, “Vertical” and “Spilling Guts”. One of the two songs from the bonus 7” that accompanied the deluxe edition of the new album, “Hounds of Bairro”, also found it’s way into the setlist.
Not many older songs were played, but the ones that were came from as far back as their first album, Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished. “Alvin Row” came as a sweet treat for those devoted fans who knew the full extent of their catalog. Martha Reeves and the Vandellas “Jimmy Mack” was also featured Friday night. The only other were non Painting With tracks played were “Bees” and “Loch Raven” off of Feels and “Daily Routine” from Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Kicking things off were the up-and-coming hip-hop group Ratking. Rappers Wiki and Hak, and producer Sporting Life were joined on stage with a second keyboardist/producer as well as a saxophonist. Together, they burned through a set that, while at times left the crowd feeling a bit alienated and lost, hyped up the fans for the launch of Animal Collective’s new tour and the live debut of Painting With.