Since March, we’ve been missing the endless queues in the rain, the painfully expensive drinks, the feeling of someone else’s beer in our hair, and most of all the entire catharsis of what we call concerts. Now, however, Glass Animals (Polydor) has offered to take us back to better times with a virtual performance of their new record Dreamland.
As we have been receiving almost weekly emails of gigs being rescheduled to next autumn, leaving us with no concerts to look forward to until April, we were desperate for a crumble of live music, even if it was only playing in our living room. So on the eve of the concert, we cracked open some ciders, gathered around the big TV and turned up the volume to see what this new format of live shows has in store for us.
Technical issues. Or at least so it seemed when the stream died after the second song and our only source of entertainment became the thousands of fans freaking out on the event’s chat window. Massive kudos to the technical team, however, as they got the stream up and running again in less than an hour, and the concert could finally start at 9 (maybe the technical issues simply represented one of those opening acts that the entire audience just wishes would go away?).
All the bugs and crashes aside, the gig was great: Glass Animals brought their usual on-stage energy, a hit-packed set, and even a massive tangerine-piñata and a disco-pineapple. Opening with the melodic Dreamland, the band went on to blast out a great blend of new bangers and old favourites. When dancing around to Space Ghost Coast to Coast or chanting the chorus of Heat Waves, however, all we could think of was how epic these must sound live. And when we heard the iconic line “Pineapples are in my head”, we couldn’t help but think back to the band’s 2017 festival tour and how comically amazing it was to see hundreds of pineapples held up in the air.
Altogether it was cool to see the show Glass Animals has put together and to hear all those amazing new hits live, but it would have been a thousand times better to do the same thing on an actual gig singing and dancing together with the crowd. These online concerts might be a good way to keep fans engaged and to keep the live music industry on life support a little longer, but we sure as hell hope this is just a temporary solution and not the “new normal”.