CLEVELAND, Ohio – Glass Animals transported the Jacobs Pavilion concert hall from Cleveland to a dreamland on Friday night.
The British indie-pop group brought all of their textured tunes, colorful lights and boundless energy to the open-air amphitheater in support of their latest album, “Dreamland” of 2020. The group’s October 1 appearance also highlighted the venue’s decision to extend the concert season until October, due to the continuing effects of the pandemic on the touring industry. (In previous years, concert seasons at the Jacobs Pavilion and other outdoor spaces ended in September.)
At one point between songs, a barge drifting down the river behind the Jacobs Pavilion bellowed several ground-shaking horns in recognition of the spectacle.
“We had planned for this to happen … it’s a big [expletive] boat, ”Glass Animals frontman Dave Bayley said with a smile. “It’s a pretty cool place to play a show.”
Despite the later than usual time of year for an outdoor show, the weather was pristine, providing a cool breeze over the Cuyahoga River and over the sold-out crowds. Prior to the show, the only tickets available for resale on Live Nation’s website were priced over $ 100 apiece.
Glass Animals, present since 2010, has built a pretty dedicated fan base around the world.
Aware of their jokes and quirks, several members of the audience attempted to bring pineapples into the room, waving them in the air during the group’s performance of the 2016 song “Pork Soda”. (However, most of the fruit didn’t go past safe.)
As the massive audience gathered at the Jacobs Pavilion (after a vaccination card or a negative COVID-19 test check), the first attendees visited the Blackstarkids show. The Kansas City opening act featured a mix of pop songs, including “Frankie Muniz”, “Fight Club” and “Sounds Like Fun”. It all served as a teaser for the band’s latest album, “Puppies Forever,” which will be released on October 15th.
Then, after the sun went down, the hall filled to capacity for Glass Animals, bringing lines of people to the rows of seats and the pit area in front of the stage. As space loaded, so did the scene – an old-fashioned desktop home screen showed dated file folders and a moving mouse icon. Just before Glass Animals took to the stage, a file transfer “loading” screen counted down the minutes.
The home screen is reminiscent of the current Glass Animals website design, taking things back to the ’90s with outdated font and pixelated graphics. This is what Dave Bayley’s computer generally looks like, he said online.
Bayley, the singer, songwriter and producer of Glass Animals, said that “that would be a funny way to show where my head is. [right now] and what inspired things [sic]. “
That’s the same thought behind everything “Dreamland”, the third and newest album from Glass Animals, released in 2020. Normally, the word “Dreamland” would conjure up distant scenes of awe-inspiring adventure – but here Bayley looked to nostalgia, family life and growing up for both the album and its promotional tour.
Dreams and aspirations, after all, can be the things that matter most to us in our lives.
Here, Glass Animals shares Bayley’s dreams in the form of an explosive, brightly colored, neon-tinted performance that involved the band (Bayley, guitarist Drew MacFarlane, bassist Ed Irwin-Singer and drummer Joe Seaward) and the public. A night of dancing ensued in every area of the hall, with the crowd moving to the beat of Bayley’s soft, silky voice.
The whole journey began with a performance of the title track from “Dreamland’s”, plunging audiences into cloudy memories with its lullaby lines:
“Going down the alleys, in the back of your head
Glide through the land of dreams like a tourist.
For the next two hours, audience members became these tourists, embarking on a musical journey with Glass Animals in mind.
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