Animal Collective makes The Orange Peel glow

Animal Collective makes The Orange Peel glow image

Sunday night in downtown Asheville is usually the time when the always bustling businesses and frantic sidewalks of the city get a slight breather from the heavy hustle and bustle of the past week. Not this past Sunday night though, Animal Collective was in town and Asheville was ready to welcome them.

The sold out concert at The Orange Peel got started with a performance by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. Trippy visuals reminiscent of a Windows 95 screensaver played on the two screens that were on either side of the ambient music artist. The excitable crowd stood transfixed by the droning, ambient soundscapes that filled the walls of the venue.

Smith thanked the audience and then it was time to wait patiently for the main course to take the stage. Hot off the heels of their February album Painting With, the experimental electronic powerhouse known lovingly to the world as Animal Collective was ready to light up The Orange Peel.

Lighting things up is exactly what they did. From the moment they emerged from stage right and made their way to their respective instruments, a dazzling rainbow display of lights cast out over the screaming crowd. Hands reached out into the air only to be painted with swirling beams of colorful lights that looked cooler than any Snapchat filter could offer.

In no time the band was already hypnotizing the crowd and leading into one of their newer songs. If the bouncing vocals and sunny synths weren't enough to make your soul feel all warm and fuzzy, then the nostalgic and goofy stage design was there to help. Three Mayan-esque heads with abstract faces stood tall behind the members of the band in what looked like a weird late night Nickelodeon bumper from the mid-nineties.

The chemistry exhibited on stage between all the integral members could be felt in the air as the band's performance reached the halfway point. It was good vibes galore as each song melded into what seemed like one big continuous song that was the best thing your ears had ever heard. When the band told Asheville how much we were loved, they were only off the stage for a brief period before it was encore time.

The encore held older material than what the band had been playing throughout the night, a welcome change to fans who were more fond of the band's earlier work. The crowd let out the last of their energy and it was time to say good night, but Animal Collective still had one more trick up their sleeve.

The morning after the show it was announced to the world that the band was releasing live albums online at a pay-what-you-want price point. The cause? To benefit the non-profit organization Progress NC in their efforts to push for progressive causes in our state, most recently to advocate against HB2. Right on Animal Collective, right on!

Image Credits:
Header Image:
Photo by Flickr user Marina Caprara
“Animal Collective”
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Image URL
*No changes were made to the original image*

1st Image: Photo by Holden Mesk of Asheville Music Guide

2nd Image: Photo by Holden Mesk of Asheville Music Guide