Glass Animals At The Olympia – Review
‘Only at a Glass Animals show would you see a pineapple just chilling on the stage.’
It’s a sentence that is murmured and repeated throughout the Olympia as fans wait with baited breath for the boys to appear. It’s true, for a band that lives off of manic-pixie sounds and tropical-popical vibes, a pineapple with glasses is probably the most standard thing anyone will witness tonight. High off the fumes of the American leg of their ‘How To Be a Human Being’ tour, the band don’t appear drained, rather they seem rejuvenated, revitalised, and ready to swing from every balcony, chandelier, and any wall that will hold them.
From the onset, the band show you ‘How To Be a Human’ which means dramatically gyrating and writhing on stage, allowing the illustrious sounds of opening numbers, ‘Life Itself’ and ‘Youth’, to wash over you. Immediately, lead singer, Dave Bayley, coyly smiles out into the audience as he watches it transform into a sea of waving limbs and frenzied dance moves. Bayley, himself, as a front man, is impressive, he says so little but he perfectly conveys what he’s about through his frantic disco moves, he’s not just a singer, he’s a performer and an artist. The entire show is pretty wordless, but that’s okay because this is a musical lesson in how to be a human – they show you through demonstration. Tracks like ‘Season 2 Episode 3’ and ‘The Other Side of Paradise’ are as well received as classics like ‘Hazey’ are, the newer tracks have a more polished quality, they demonstrate the band’s ever-rising fame and their sure-footedness about who they are and what their sound is about, full of charm and adrenaline in equal measure. Since the release of their second album, the band have easily cemented themselves into the hearts and playlists of lovers of indie and dance music alike; Glass Animals manages to traverse genres and becomes a celebration of sound and dance.
It becomes quickly apparent that this was a sold-out show full of dive hard fans, drowning out the band when old favourites like ‘Black Mambo’ and ‘Gooey’ are performed. It’s the highlight of the show, the band truly come alive, there’s genuine interaction and shared delight when Bayley (whose clambering left the audience in awe multiple times throughout the night) jumped into the pit and precariously perched on the barrier for their encore performance of Kanye West’s ‘Love Lockdown’. It’s a beautiful stripped back version of the rap legend’s classic, with hauntingly ethereal vocals wrought with energy. It all becomes too much when Bayley mounts a speaker before clambering onto a balcony box, the fans understandably loose their minds as the front man swings his legs off the ledge and belts out the track as if it was his own. That’s the really wonderful thing about Glass Animals, in spite of their fame sky-rocketing in the past few months, their energy and charisma never appears to be anything but genuine.
Closing their show with the undisputedly fresh and tropical sounds of ‘Pork Soda’, it’s clear that this is their best show in Dublin to date. Since their fledging beginnings at Electric Picnic in 2013, the band have gone from strength to strength, and with their latest Ireland show firmly under their belt as a resounding success, one can be certain that the band can only keep rising.