LIVE: Glass Animals, Live in the Internet

With gorgeous visuals accompanying the band’s aloof performance, this felt like a step above the typical livestream set as the Oxford psych-pop group fully lean into the peculiar tendencies they’re known for.
Posted: 21 October 2020 Words: Alex Orr Photos: Stefan Bojilov

As the era of livestreams starts to popularise and begin, bands and artists are competing with each other to offer fans an experience worth paying for, which means a streamed concert that feels considerably more special and valuable than a standard YouTube offering. The Streets kicked off the phase earlier this year, with live streaming services scrambling to snap up artists with the cultural capital capable of pulling in a young, trendsetting audience. Glass Animals fit this mould to a T, and the intrigue level was high given the band’s propensity for delivering souped-up dance version of their back catalogue on live shows.

Dubbed 'Live in the Internet', the physical and digital production lengths the band and streaming service went to to make this feel special shouldn’t be understated. With weird and wonderful imagery, the show kicked off with a 10-minute montage of fans waiting outside venues for the band’s last tour, which was simultaneously as self-indulgent as it was heartfelt. The musical portion of the show finally kicks off as the image of frontman Wavey Davey sat at a 90’s style computer with a microphone gives way to the first shot of the full stage production as the band kick into a rousing rendition of ‘Dreamland’ (the song’s live debut). With the stage and backing screen providing gorgeous visuals to accompany the band’s aloof performing, this does feel like a step above the typical livestream set as the group fully lean into the peculiar tendencies they’re known for.

The gambit with relying on technology to reach your fans with this type of offering is, of course the lack of control when it comes to technical difficulties. After just three songs, streaming issues began as the livechat started going crazy. Messages promising stream restoration incrementally flashed as the minutes ticked by. With the video and audio recovering and falling repeatedly, many gave up as the streaming service took full responsibility and announced the stream recording would be accessible for 72 hours once the original performance ends. It seems a shame the band were so keen on using the 90’s internet aesthetic for this performance that the streaming service decided to use the bandwidth from the time as well.

Outside of technical issues, this was a very impressive performance. The band all sounded incredible and delivered on the promise of visual uniqueness, with imagery ranging from a 70’s style cocaine dealer pool-house for the debuting ‘Hot Sugar’ to the neon-dripped street racing vibes for ‘Tokyo Drifting’. The much-hyped guest appearances delivered too, with Denzel Curry appearing via screen for his verse in ‘Tokyo Drifting’; visual contortionist artist Kannah Flex dazzling during ‘Hazey’ and newest single ‘Tangerine’ featuring a show-stealing guest performance from exponentially rising star Arlo Parks.

This was a show that, whilst marred by unfortunate technical issues, stunned and silenced cynics with the sheer stylistic prowess and power on display. Glass Animals should be proud of this production, as they move to the position of the band to beat when it comes to livestreams.

To hear more from Glass Animals, click here.

More from buzz