Supporting latest album Centipede Hz (QRO review), Animal Collective stopped for two nights at NYC’s Terminal 5, Tuesday & Wednesday, December 4th & 5th. After opener Highlife delivered a slow burning set (QRO photos), Animal Collective turned Terminal 5 into a psychedelic cavern, glowing with neon teeth and inflatable cornucopia. For a space that typically doesn’t come across as particularly welcoming (QRO venue review), the stage setup created an environment that was as intimate as it could be.
Though Centipede Hz was met with lukewarm reception after the comparative runaway success of breakout album Strawberry Jam and the following Merriweather Post Pavilion (QRO review), the quartet’s artistry is undeniable. The fluidity of the set was remarkable, though the crowd reaction admittedly picked up with Merriweather Post Pavilion favorite “Lion In a Coma”. Newer tracks like “Applesauce” and “New Town Burnout” got their moments to shine, but there’s a reason why “My Girls” and “Brothersport” have ended up as Animal Collective’s most resonant work. Maturity and security are fundamentally a part of what the band represents, even if it’s delivered in a strange package. It’s safe inside the gaping mouth onstage.