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- Panda Bear »
Lonely gentleman. With baseball cap drawn forward, Noah Lennox saunters on stage. Through the gentle distortion, ‘Take Pills’ opens proceedings. It’s interrupted mid-way by a new track, ‘Working For Ariel’; this happens throughout the set, songs coming and going under different guises. Whereas Lennox’s debut long-play release as Panda Bear, Young Prayer, was concerned with minimalist acoustic efforts, new offering Person Pitch pays a focused attention to detail – one that could so easily be lost in its live performance. But Lennox, though equipped with what seems a fairly basic desk of electronics, evidently has a remarkable ability to multi-task. That, or a remarkable ability to pre-programme effects. Given the surprising depth and detail the set possesses this evening, it seems sensible to put faith in the former.
Many of the ways in which the songs are divided are fairly obvious points of transition and, as a result, Panda Bear’s intoxicating harmonies fade in and out throughout. Each track is instantly forgettable because of the one that follows. With no interruption between songs other than be hollered back for the encore, the set is bombarding.
Whilst nostrils fill with fresh wafts of incense burning, Lennox seems to appreciate when each track has served its purpose, avoiding the temptation to indulge too long with these weighty songs. ‘Comfy in Nautica’, with jet engine samples haunting the background, sounds like Brian Wilson indulging in the electronic age. However, as lush harmonies wash over, these are abruptly broken up by an industrial dirge, snapping the audience out of their sense of security, punting the hippy shtick in the shin.
Compared to his efforts as part of Animal Collective, this is a much more accessible affair; it’s less extreme yet more delirious. This evening’s sole fault lies in Lennox’s ability to decide where to call it quits: as with previous Animal Collective performances, at well over an hour the set lasts too long. Although attendee faces gurn with delight, the encore, whilst appreciated, is unnecessary.
Nevertheless, as ‘Bros’ kicks in to close the set, other than those eager to escape content with whichever melody has lodged itself inside their head, most are satisfied to swallow up one more dose.
‘Song For Ariel’
‘Laughed For A World Filled With Fantasy’
‘Comfy in Nautica’
‘Bonfire of the Vanities’
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