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Concert of the day: Animal Collective at the State Theatre


Animal Collective is a band that has transfixed music festival crowds worldwide. Indeed, next weekend, the group will be playing one of the main stages at the massive Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee.

So when it was announced that the critically hailed indie-electronic-tribal-pop band would be coming to St. Petersburg’s 705-person State Theatre on Monday night, local fans immediately started snapping up tickets. No questions asked.

People who’ve never heard of Animal Collective, though, might have a question or two of your own. Such as: How did a band with music this weird get to be this popular?

Since forming as Baltimore-area schoolboys in the late ’90s, the trio — David “Avey Tare” Portner, Noah “Panda Bear” Lennox and Brian “Geologist” Weitz — has released a handful of lauded experimental albums, including this year’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, which some writers instantly deemed the year’s best album ... despite the fact that it came out on Jan. 6.

However lovely the jams on Merriweather Post Pavilion might be — Bluish, My Girls and Summertime Clothes all stick to your eardrums like Strawberry Jam (the title of the band’s equally out-there 2007 album) — you’re not likely to hear Animal Collective on, say, 98 Rock anytime soon. Their music is awash in natural-sounding clicks and cheeps and watery swathes of sound, all tied together by exotic yelps, tantric chants and deeply ingrained Beach Boys-style harmonies. The end result is a band that has nurtured a fan base consisting mostly of hippies, high-art fans and — perhaps most of all — music bloggers.

“Animal Collective is just one of those bands,” said Justin Ward, the editor of “They take risks live, playing songs and segues that have never been played before or aren’t played close to how it sounds on the studio album. Their live show is something completely different almost every time you see them, and that keeps you coming back for more.”

The fans at Monday‚Äôs show, with Black Dice, will be ravenous. A few tickets may be available at the door, but this concert has been expected to sell out since January.

But hey — if you miss Animal Collective on Monday, you can always catch them at Bonnaroo.

Click here to check out an mp3 of Animal Collective's My Girls.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo by Takahiro Imamura.

[Last modified: Monday, June 8, 2009 8:00am]


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