Glass Animals w/ Empress Of-House of Blues, Boston, MA 10/17/15 (SHOW REVIEW)

Cold weather finally hit Boston this season just as Indie popsters Glass Animals rolled into town. The young Boston crowd, no strangers to the chilly air, walked into the House of Blues and were greeted by a set full of palm trees and jungle decor radiating the heat of the summer months just past.

Opener dream-pop artist Lorely Rodriguez, who performs and records as Empress Of, showcased her debut full length album Me. Empress Of’s performance soared over the anxiously awaiting crowd. While appearing timid when she addressed the growing crowd, all shyness faded with the first note of each new song. Unknown to much of the crowd, she managed to win them over by the end, her high energy contagious as her curly long hair became part of the beat when she thrashed her head side to side.

The high energy of the night was only just beginning, the crowd erupting into applause as Glass Animals came onto the foggy green-lit stage. Their opening song “Walla Walla”, full of exotic rhythm combined with the silky smooth vocals of lead singer Dave Bayley was off of their debut full length album Zaba. LED lit balloons, which either by happenstance or design fit perfectly into the neon stage theme, started appearing and were tossed about, one even making its way onto the stage, much to the delight of Bayley, who commented “I like these balloons” as he flung it back into the crowd.

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Glass Animals went on to play many of their fan favorites including radio hits “Gooey” and “Black Mambo”, members taking turns jamming in each other’s faces and jumping onto the band’s drum set. There was not a corner of the stage not touched by the Glass Animals by the time the night was done. In addition to the high energy by members of the band, the light techniques used throughout the performance made it easy for the crowd to fully submerge into the music. Strings of lights and giant bulbs were used to visualize the unique beats that have become a Glass Animals signature.

With the last song of the set still ringing in the crowd’s ears had them demanding more, a request obliged by Glass Animals as they returned to the stage to perform Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown”, a cover that has become a band trademark. Audience members close to the stage barricade had to make room for Bayley as he headed into the crowd, leaving a microphone wire in his wake. A stage crew member had to feed Bayley even more wire as he emerged himself deeper and deeper into the crowd as the song went on. The show ended with “Pools” containing more of the Glass Animal signature sound and jungle beats.

Empress Of and Glass Animals made for a perfect pairing and although each had a distinct sound, they both did their part in holding the crowd in tow.

Photos by Richard Clarke

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