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Glass Animals Brings A Heat Wave to Sold-Out Minneapolis Concert at the Armory

Lead Singer Dave Bayley sings on stage with his arm in the air
Glass Animals by Chris Kirihara

Known for years for success among music critics, indie-pop fans, and college music scenes, Glass Animals have surged to major popularity over the song “Heat Waves” on TikTok and Spotify. The band may not immediately strike a chord, but people immediately know who you are excited about when you mention “Heat Waves”.

The line “Sometimes I think about you” sparked countless TikTok’s about admitting your deepest feelings, regret, or simply nostalgia about another person.

Let’s not ignore the fact that Glass Animals deserves a lot more than a one-hit-wonder type of fame. They proved that at their spectacular performance. It was an experience to appeal to all your senses.

SAD NIGHT DYNAMITE OPENS

Sad Night Dynamite raps on stage
Sad Night Dynamite by Chris Kirihara

Sad Night Dynamite provided ample entertainment and talent as the opener for Glass Animals. Two friends, Josh Greacen and Archie Blagden, stayed in touch by making music through college, and Sad Night Dynamite was born out of the experiment.

Using their inspirations from The Gorillaz, they have also combined an admiration of film scores into their music to give it that full sound that grabs the listener’s attention. Some have described a few of their songs like Twenty One Pilots meets The Streets.

Curiously, their set had swamp-looking seaweed foliage all over their equipment. They had spooky lighting which cast shadows over the decorations. I appreciate the effort to live up to their “Blair Witch” descriptions.

One of them brought out a megaphone to rap through. What may sound obnoxious in writing was actually a really cool effect. 

Sad Night Dynamite on stage
Sad Night Dynamite by Chris Kirihara

Despite being new to the scene, they owned the stage as an opener. They danced and hopped around. They breezed through their set.

Seeing their obvious confidence and ease, talent, plus the ideal British accent, the huge crowd of people cheered them on. They finished their set with the song “Krunk,” which has decent popularity on Youtube.

GLASS ANIMALSGET IT!!

With thousands of people waiting, a large screen revealed a static visual of a retro program copying files. It displayed a percentage that got closer and closer to 100%, building the hype and excitement.

Glass Animals came on stage and jumped into “Life Itself” and we lost our minds. Dave Bayley had an immediate stage personality that took us over.

The applause drowned out the music, but only for a second as the fans’ singing took over. Thankfully, the band was louder.

Glass Animals lead singer walks across stage
Glass Animals

Glass Animals have a unique way of being an indie-pop band contrasted with epic beat drops and bass resounding through the venue. This is most apparent during the performance, as the recording is much more subdued and suited for a personal listening experience.

The floor shook like an earthquake and I felt the bass through my entire body as I let Dave Bayley’s smooth vocals woo my ears.

The set design was ideal given their hit song was about a heatwave in June, though risky since there’s still snow on the ground and a chill in the air. Front and center, modern psychedelic visual art is displayed on a massive floor-to-ceiling screen. It added to the show experience instead of distracting from it.

The color palette of the videos carried across to the neon signs of summer words like “POOL” and “HOTEL” and the transitions gloriously tied to the beat of the music.

The effect was satisfying instead of distracting and gaudy.

Pulling through their discography, the fans screamed at the beginning of every song claiming it was their favorite. The novelty didn’t wear off and energized me even more.

Near the end of a song, the music cut out in a dramatic pause to tease the audience. The effect was fun and playful. The surfboard he performed from was a brilliant, yet simple idea and played well to the whole experience.

Most people around me knew the lyrics to every song. I was very impressed by the fans’ popularity and dedication to the music in a world of streaming endless possibilities of music. 

Take, for instance, the song “Tangerine.” It was a quick song with densely packed lyrics and they sang along to every word. 

Dave Bayley dances and sings with seemingly pure confidence. His long pauses taking in the cheering became endearing instead of suspicious for attention. He blushed at different times throughout the show at the overwhelming applause and covered his grinning face with his hands

One would think – wouldn’t the lead singer be used to the fame after selling out venues in the past? Definitely not, since the venues get bigger and cheering louder. His expressions and mannerisms said – Wow, I can’t believe this.

The thing is – the crowd literally shouted the same sentiment.

“I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!!!!”

– Excited fan

A person next to me was brought to the brink of ecstatic tears. Another said, “I think I actually feel love for this person.”

Bayley’s confidence is earned through his relentless pursuit to create music that fills people. He works hard and he seems to know what people want to hear before they even know it.

There’s a vulnerability Bayley showed on stage along with that confidence that is enticingly wholesome in a way, which made the girls scream like he was the hottest thing since Justin Timberlake. He thanked us and with a wide grin, commented, “It’s been too long, Minneapolis.”

The band also plays well to the drama of a large performance and fed into that by contrasting the lights to excite the crowd. At one point, they cut the lights to a deep dark blue hue, highlighting the smoke and fog drifting through the space. Then dropped into a faster, brighter part of the song while the neon lights flashed. They teased us and played with us.

And wow, did we ever want it so bad.

A very popular song “Pork Soda” brought out the voices of everyone yelling “Pineapples are in my head.” Bayley held a pineapple through the song and gently tossed it into the crowd.

I entered this experience with hyped expectations. How could they possibly live up?

But my expectations were exceeded in every way.

The encore did not disappoint and the moment most of us had been waiting for – the performance of “Heat Waves.” The experience was a perfectly hazy blur of pleasure, carrying us in awe throughout the song.

It truly was an amazing night.

Written by Renee Jones

Writer, Photographer, and Editor at Music in Minnesota

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