Monday, Aug. 10, 2009

Animal Collective Alienates Fans at Lollapalooza

By Evan Rytlewski
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Were the seeds of a potential Animal Collective backlash sewn at the band's ambient Saturday evening Lollapalooza set? I like the band well enough, but I found the half hour I caught fairly insufferable. Other critics concur, even ones unabashed about their Animal Collective fandom.

The Chicago Tribune called their set "heavy on repetitive beats and monotonous keyboard noodling. Where are the melodies?  The crowd is primed to go off, but the band never lights the fuse. A missed opportunity."

The Chicago Sun-Times called it "The biggest disappointment on the middle day of Lollapalooza 2009."

Most surprisingly even Pitchfork derided it: In a spot-on recap, Paul Thompson wrote that "there was no shortage of long ambient passages, devastatingly slow builds, extended outros; nearly everything but tunes, of which I think they might've managed a half-dozen recognizable numbers all night. Everyone around me gave caring the old college try, perking up whenever a familiar chord would crash into another, but after a few too many song-starved minutes, only the most dedicated were paying close attention. As a fan of the band's driftier moments, it's a set I'd happily hear again in another context, but actually watching it go down here felt all wrong. Not playing the hit seems far cooler a gesture than it turns out to be."
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