English-American based indie rock extraordinaire Glass Animals brought their “Dreamland” tour promoting their third full-length album to Nashville, TN on July 28th. The tour kicked off August 30th in Lewiston, NY, and has the last date posted for September 10th in Madrid, Spain.
It was the perfect day to stay home and ditch work. It rained overnight and all morning long. The sky was gray with faint touches of white. I had requested photo access to Glass Animal three weeks prior and realized with only a few hours until the start of the show that my request was probably not getting approved. Disappointed, I told my boss I’d work extra hours to cover my coworkers who’d rather stay home and watch TV! It was 3:30 when I got the approval and needed to think of something quick to get out of my obligations. When Glass Animals calls, you gotta accept the charges.
An open-air venue was the perfect place for this show. The weather was wonderful considering it’s Nashville in July. The night began with Ghanaian-Australian Genesis Owusu. When I walked into the photo pit I was transported, if only momentarily, to the fruit markets in Kingston, Jamaica. The sweet smell of ripe fruit mingled with burning “grass.” I took a deep breath and, as if in a dream, the stage was swarmed by a group of dancers all wearing black and red.
Owusu‘s swagger is magnificent, his voice is deep and smooth. I first thought he was a rapper, but his set crosses many genres. Yes, you can hear the rapid rhymes expected from rap. But funk, rock and jazz are all evident as well. Owusu is not only a singer, he is also a dancer, poet, actor and visual artist. You can see how he uses all these diverse art forms on stage to give the crowd an unforgettable night.
GENESIS OWUSU Photo Gallery:
After a quick changeover it was time for Glass Animals. The stage looked beautiful. The foreground looked like a retro hotel pool and the backdrop displayed a giant PC loading the show. The image brought flashbacks of waiting hours trying to download a song on Limewire.
When the band came out the crowd exploded in a roar that I don’t think ever stopped. Vintage visual art was displayed with an array of neon signs and strobes. Front-man Dave Bayley is a force to be reckoned with. He doesn’t stop dancing while singing, playing the guitar and encouraging the crowd. I was impressed by his moves and the band’s exuberant performance. If summer was a band, I’m pretty sure it would be Glass Animals. Young, energetic, colorful and so easy-going. Tangerine was a sensational performance. It has to be one of the catchiest songs I have heard in a long time. It was my first time hearing it and I left the venue singing it. I have been to lots of concerts at Ascend and I never saw so much energy from the crowd. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that the venue was throbbing. The crowd sang every song word for word and with the band’s encouragement, every able-bodied person was standing up and dancing with their arms in the sky.
Glass Animals are making giant waves and I can’t wait for them to come back.