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Coachella 2011 Artist Preview: Animal Collective

Animal Collective
Animal Collective
Courtesy Photo

Animal Collective will be playing direct support to the Arcade Fire Saturday, April 16, day two of Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio. With two previous Coachella performances under their belt, (2006 and 2008) it’s plausible that much like LSD in the 60s, given the right opportunity, they’ll find a mainstream audience. While 2010 did not feature any performances from the band, (only a short tour of Panda Bear's solo project) Coachella seems like the perfect big festival shot-in-the-arm to get the band on the road again. Known for the indiscriminate use of sonic textures and percussion, the sound of Animal Collective is unclassifiable when compared to their fellow indie comrades playing Coachella.

With waves of euphoric electronics supported by scatterbrained structures of noise, Animal Collective creates a sound that is every bit dancey as it is ambient. A great deal of their past material has been recorded separately by individual members. All four members, Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin, and Geologist contribute vocals, yet without seeing the band live it’s difficult to discern who is doing what, or who is in the band at any given time. Due to the bands open-door policy of its members, Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) and Deakin (Josh Dibb) have recently been able to pursue solo projects, unfortunately at some cost to Animal Collective’s face time with fans. Recent interviews with the band implicate a new album on the horizon to follow up 2009’s critically acclaimed Merriweather Post Pavilion, yet nothing concrete has been slated for release.

The band’s propensity to insert hints of works in progress or even bits of their own solo projects into their live sets will have to do for now. When speaking of their live performances, it can be said that the full effect of their experimentation is only felt when the band is not limited time wise and can freely improvise. The band once played a memorable set at the all-ages friendly Epicentre in Mira Mesa that clocked in above two hours. With a chorus of voices that create a serene Beach Boys-like quality, these dudes may walk you along the edge of a happy psychedelic oblivion, but won’t shy away from holding your hand if it all turns into a bad trip. Past Coachella performances from the band have been nothing short of remarkable.

Animal Collective will perform at The Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on Saturday April 16th.