[photos courtesy of Will and We All Want Someone blog]
In the early years of the last decade when the speed of the web aligned with the availability of high quality audio files, I went on a binge downloading all of the available Animal Collective live recordings from their page at the Live Music Archive and from various torrent sites. In 2007 I was finally able to see the band live. For the shows I recorded at Webster Hall shows that year, I had expected the band to play the live songs for which I was quite familiar, but those two historic Webster shows were heavy on new songs — my introduction to the material that would eventually become the band’s brilliant breakthrough album Merriweather Post Pavilion. I’m not so sure I was prepared for what would come next. When Animal Collective released MPP to overwhelmingly positive reviews, I recorded the first two shows in New York and the attention we received literally crashed the site. I learned a lot about the potential for this site to reach a large audience but also the mixed bag nature of viral material, and NYCTaper was forever inextricably intertwined with the music of Animal Collective. To this day, the recording for Animal Collective at Manhattan Center has been downloaded over 50,000 times and remains the most circulated of all of our recordings.
In the intervening years, we’ve had intermittent opportunities to capture the band live including some memorable solo shows. There was the secret Glasslands show with Avey Tare and Deakin that introduced us to that amazing venue (RIP) and to the material that would eventually become Oddsac. Our recording of Panda Bear at Governor’s Island in 2010 was so successful that the artist actually released a limited version of the recording as a free bonus download with the album Tomboy. There was a pair of Deakin shows in 2010, a terrific solo show by Avey Tare at Knitting Factory in 2011, and then a full band show at Terminal 5 in 2012. But we’ve never quite captured the magic of the MPP shows and the rabid interest those 2009 recordings generated.
Its now more than decade since my first obsession with Animal Collective and fortunately 2016 finds us both in very good places. The band’s new album is called Painting With and its quite an excellent piece of work and undoubtedly their strongest material since Merriweather Post Pavilion. The tour in support of the album is being played in smaller venues than anything since the small MPP shows and the feel of this tour is similar. There’s an excitement surrounding the band, the album and the shows that harkens back to 2009 and its a great feeling to have back. At Irving Plaza on Wednesday night, Animal Collective played a virtually flawless ninety-minute show that featured most of the new album, one bizarro cover, and several deep cuts from some of the earliest releases. Indeed, the final song of the night “Alvin Row” goes all the way back to the band’s first album, Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished. The venue was absolutely packed — I was pushed up against the soundboard cage for the entire night — but the crowd was entirely involved in the show. There is literally no yapping at all recognizable on this recording. And the band played off the energy coming from the crowd as this performance was top notch from start to finish. Indeed, the band only took two song breaks as they segued most of the songs from the main set, and the three encore songs flow as one.
The current Animal Collective tour continues throughout the Spring, moving West and then spending much of April in Europe before the band returns to the US in May. There is a show on May 14 in Sayreville NJ that we are going to try to record, but our attendance is not yet confirmed.
I recorded this set with my old Neumann KM-150 hypercardioids (the same mics as Bowery in 2009) from a prime position directly in front of the soundboard on the floor. The sound in the venue was phenomenal and this recording is quite superb. Enjoy!
Download the Complete Show in FLAC or MP3 format at Archive.org [HERE]
Stream the Complete Show:
New York NY
Digital Master Recording
Front of Board Audience
Neumann KM-150s > Sound Devices 744t > 24bit 48kHz wav file > Soundforge (post-production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)
Recorded and Produced by nyctaper
[Total Time 1:31:07]
01 Natural Selection
02 Gnip Gnop
03 Hocus Pocus
04 The Burglars
05 Jimmy Mack [Vandellas]
06 Daily Routine
07 Golden Gal
08 Summing the Wretch
09 On Delay
10 Loch Raven
12 [encore break]
14 Lying in the Grass
15 Alvin Row