Friday night, the Wiltern Theatre morphed into a sort of throbbing, biomechanical cave worthy of the plot of some ‘60s sci-fi movie. The villain would have used it as a mind control device—an electronic siren song washing over its victims in cascades of percussive chittering layered over monastic chants and hypnotic melodies. The bobblehead doll-like, unintentionally synchronized bouncing of the sirens in question increased the device’s power, forcing thousands to mimic the bouncing, mouths agape in ecstatic abandon. The conduit for the device’s power may well have been the giant, glowing orb suspended over the band, like a heart pulsating with flashes of color and light that kept the audience’s eyes and guts fixated on the stage.
A trio of fans who seemed to have just barely graduated from their teenage years rotated their small triangle of dance every song so as to give each other an equal amount of time being closest to the stage. Concert security harassed people about staying behind the invisible wall those white tape lines on the floor are supposed to create, but were unable to compete with the overwhelming, enveloping force of the Collective, and were in turn harassed by Drunk Groupie #7, whose tenacity and lumbering clumsiness in her tens of attempts to hurl herself into the orchestra section were spectacular to behold.
Perhaps she was meant to be the hero of our little tome, meant to halt the effects of two solid hours of The Animal Collective Brain Gelatinizer 5000 and prevent thousands of entranced concertgoers from wreaking havoc upon the city—a well-meaning and talented space warrior hindered in her career by performance consistency issues related to her slight alcohol problem. Or perhaps she gave up on her mission because the music was just too good.