Concert Review: Glass Animals @ The Horseshoe Tavern

Glass Animals
As a medical student, I guess it’s only fitting that my first concert review for AMBY be on Glass Animals, a band started by Dave Brayley after he received his degree in medicine from King’s College London. Once an aspiring psychiatrist, Dave now finds himself lead singer of the slinky-smooth Glass Animals, which he formed with his friends Drew MacFarlane, Edmund Irwin-Singer, and Joe Seaward. Beneath the band’s richly textured instrumentals and seductive rhythms often lie disturbing lyrics, and one can’t help but wonder if Dave’s experiences with his patients have somehow crept their way into his songs. In “Exxus”, for instance, oozes with eeriness:

Open your eyes, choking on his bed,

Choking on his bed, then grimace and smile

Take a toll, he is with cigarette

He picks your brains, he’s stomping on his chest

Sit his tone with one fast hand

Stuff his mouth with salty sand

Tie his arms up from his head

Rolling around like a rusty can

Wake up with a hatchet over your head

You wake up with a hatchet over your head”

Playing to a sold-out show at Horseshoe Tavern, the band opened with an extended recording of crackling leaves, chirping birds, and howls, that soon melded into “Hazey” and Dave quickly took centre stage rocking out on his tambourine (he later did so again during “Intruxx”).

A couple songs in, Dave announced that this was the Oxford-based band’s first time in Canada.

Then came their weird and wonderful “Gooey”, to which the audience erupted in wild cheers and soon had everyone grooving along to those peanut butter vibes.

My personal favourite of the night was the band’s “Cocoa Hooves” and “Cocoa Hooves II”, all entrancing and creepy.

Overall, theirs was a relatively short set, just under an hour. Upon the band’s exit, the audience immediately began chanting, “Encore! Encore!” Glass Animals came back full-strength, first with their unique take on Kanye’s “Love Lockdown” and afterwards, their very own “Pools”. Before closing, they thanked the crowd one last time: “You guys were way too cool for us.”

Review by Katrina Hui |

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