This show has been at least three years in the making. But really much longer. In early 2009, Animal Collective released “Merriweather Post Pavilion,” an album that launched the Baltimore-bred group from underground favorites to psychedelic superstars. The consensus choice for album of the year, it turned the band’s swirling soundscapes into jubilant, almost nursery-rhyme singalongs punctuated by the gorgeous harmonies of Avey Tare and Panda Bear.
The album title was a tribute to the venue that provided the band members with cherished childhood memories, and suddenly playing a concert there — which seemed implausible just a few years earlier, even as the band gained a cult following — was a real possibility. Now it’s a reality, but the big question remains: How much of that breakthrough album will we actually hear? Animal Collective has always been fiercely forward-moving, regularly performing sets that focus on new, unreleased material instead of fan favorites.
So although this concert offers an incredible opportunity to take a recent concert trend (performing a classic album in its entirety) to a whole new level (performing that album at the venue the album was named after!) expect Animal Collective to do what got it to this level in the first place — keep moving forward.
--David Malitz, June 3, 2011