Animal Collective transports listeners

Courtesy @abitaphoto.
Courtesy @abitaphoto.

By Frances Moody
Arts Editor
Summer Bloyer
Staff Writer
Animal Collective’s music transports listeners to somewhere else — to an alternate world. The band’s tunes may launch music-lovers into space or wisp them into an enchanted forest.  By using music to create imagery, the band gives listeners a temporary escape from the constraints of reality. For Animal Collective’s Sept. 8 show in Salt Lake City, the group expects to take its audience out of the venue and into an imaginative environment.
Transporting listeners is a central theme to Animal collective’s music and compositions. Band member Brian Weitz, also called the Geologist, places the group’s sound in the genre of psychedelic rock, in which emotions take presentence over melody and rhythm.
“[A song] is something bigger, which means that when I listen to the song, there is a ‘transportive’ affect that is has on me. [It] allows me to see imagery and feel emotions, and have a sense of the other along with it,” Weitz said.
Another vital component of Animal Collective’s sound is the aspect of friendship. The band has been together for over 20 years. It began as a casual hangout and evolved from there. To this day, camaraderie guides the meanings behind each song and the way Animal Collective composes.
“It really is about an expression of friendship over the years” Weitz said. “Both in terms of what we put out there and how we try and treat each other when we work together.”
Long-lasting relationships also allow the band to draw connections to its concert designations. When asked about his experience in Salt Lake City, Weitz recalled Animal Collective’s only show in the Beehive State. While he doesn’t recollect the specific details of the performance, he does associate it with his friend who attended the concert. At the time, he didn’t know this person.
“That is how I connect with that Salt Lake City show,” Weitz said. “A person that is a big part of my life was at that show and we didn’t know each other at the time.
Animal Collective’s emphasis on friendship and musical transportation defines its on-stage presence. When the band is together, the members act under alter egos. By doing so, they escape the confinements of everyday life and embrace the role of composer. On stage, the band consists of Avey Tare (David Porter), Deakin (Josh Dibb), Geologist (Brian Weitz) and Panda Bear (Noah Lennox).
Since Animal Collective’s beginning in the ‘90s, the band has explored an array of transcendental sounds – from earthy and grounded to active and exclamatory. Some songs, such as “moonjock,” have driving rhythms. Others, like “Pulleys,” are slow moving.
The band’s lyrics are also explorative – some consider the common theme of young adult life. For example, “Summertime Clothes” from the album “Merriweather Post Pavillion” spouts the lines, “It doesn’t really matter, I’ll go where you feel/ Hunt for the breeze, get a midnight meal / Dance to the songs from the cars as they pass/ Weave through the cardboard, smell that trash.” Other lyrics consist of repeated exclamations, such as “Wide-eyed” from the record “Centipede Hz,” which repeats an enthusiastic “wide eyed, wide eyed, wide eyed” at the song’s ending.
Animal Collective’s psychedelic sound has changed since the critically-acclaimed album “Merriweather Post Pavillion.” Melodies are less prominent in their newest collection, “Centipede Hz.” Simple rhythms define the album’s songs.  The band’s denial of lyrics and melodic conventions results in a more grounded, repetitive sound. However, the record’s psychedelic sounds transport listeners, following the tradition of previous works.
At each show, Animal Collective wants concert attendees to stand back and take a break from the boundaries of conventional routines. By presenting a range of songs with a unique mind-altering voice, the show will take its audience to an alternate environment — where listeners can celebrate friendship, life and imagination.  The concert will take place at The Depot, doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m.