Both New York based and both with their hands deep in the psychedelic cookie jar, L’Rain and Animal Collective are no strangers to walls of sound. While approaching a sort of musical hypnosis from different angles (L’Rain takes a more soulful, constructive approach and Animal Collective are a bit more pop-y), they both achieve the same final result: layers upon layers of intricate melody to get lost in.

L’Rain opened the Monday night show at First Avenue by dipping into their eponymous album first, the snaking melodies of Which Fork leading into the slightly more straightforward A Toes, before running through some of their newer material with songs like Blame Me and Take Two. Their inventiveness is impossible to miss, swirling through jazz one moment, then immense drone-y waves the next, and then cycling back to disco-inspired numbers all within the run of a single song. It’s their ability to weave all these sounds together into a cohesive whole that makes the band so mesmerizing, and though they played for a full 45 minutes, it seemed to be over in barely but a flash as the last cymbals died down and the last second of fuzz faded away.

Following L’Rain’s incredible performance, Animal Collective took to the stage to bring a different approach to hypnosis. Opening with one of their most well known songs (In The Flowers from Merriweather Post Pavilion), then firing into a Time Skiffs B-Side (Broke Zodiac), they wasted no time in showing that they are still the dominant force when it comes to pop-psychedelic. Their ability to play off each member of the band (all accomplished musicians in their own solo work, most notably drummer Panda Bear) gives them an incomparable dynamicism. As fun as they are mystifying, the band played an immense two hour set of material, making sure to give the audience a night they will never forget!

L’Rain

Animal Collective

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