I don’t know if you pay much attention to the names bands give to their tours, but they’re typically whatever the latest album release is, or some sort of anniversary tour. Glass Animals’ “Dreamland” is arguably the most appropriately name album and tour I’ve heard to date. Beautiful background graphics with subtly changing colors and designs, dreamy lighting, and a summer park setting (complete with a basketball backboard and a diving board) and other special effect perfectly complemented the fun, yet thoughtful music of the indie-psychedelic-electro-pop foursome from the UK.
After an energetic hip-hop set by Sad Night Dynamite, Glass Animals opened their show with the primal drum beats of “Life Itself,” bringing the crowd, which had been politely, but restlessly, seated in the Murat Theatre, instantly to their feet. Frontman/guitarist Dave Bayley seemed to bask in the glow of red-orange lights as the band wove a hypnotic spell for the first few bars. After a dramatic break, Bayley joined in, and the fun began in earnest. Although Bayley was by far the most animated and interactive member of the band, guitarist/keyboardist Drew MacFarlane, bassist/keyboardist Edmund Irwin-Singer, and percussionist Joe Seaward also used their powers to create a magical environment throughout a 13-song regular set.
Glass Animals saved their biggest hit, “Heat Waves” for their second encore song, which was a very smart move. The crowd went absolutely nuts for the song, which is currently enjoying its third week at the pinnacle of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, after a remarkable climb that’s lasted for over a year!
The audience, which consisted primarily of millennials, was one of the trendiest, most colorfully dressed, hippest, I’ve seen at a pop concert. After watching the parade of mom jeans, glittery jackets, psychedelic jumpsuits and platform shoes, I realized I need to up my concert-going wardrobe. But it was great fun watching everyone as they cheered and sang and danced and were just, well, happy. Because Glass Animals’ live performance will do that to you, whether you’re a die-hard fan or a newbie like me.
The North-American leg of the Rainbow Dreamland tour runs through June 26, then the band heads over the pond. I highly recommend you take in this show before Glass Animals goes supernova. I also highly recommend you play around on their website – in addition to getting tour information, music, merch, and videos, you can also sign the guestbook, create your own music & art, make a Glass Animals meme, and see a cute dog. It’s honestly one of the best websites I’ve ever seen, and it will make you appreciate the show’s background graphics even more.