Oxford-based indie rock outfit Glass Animals came to what should have been sunny South Florida in an attempt to escape their often dreary and rain-soaked stomping grounds of England. Instead, they got more of the same in terms of weather Tuesday night. However, what really made it feel like a local show for the U.K. quartet was the wall-to-wall adulation bursting from a sold-out Revolution Live.
Opening for Glass Animals on his first tour through Florida was producer Gilligan Moss, who brought along his collection of “garden-disco” tunes. The Chicago native played a number of tracks off of his debut EP, Ceremonial, released this past August. The management-consultant-turned-professional-musician had a blast on stage performing his mostly instrumental brand of trippy electronica, sounding like a bouncy collaboration between Animal Collective and Baths.
Moss also shared the reason he was recruited to tour with Glass Animals: a remix he produced of their hit single, “Gooey.” His twinkling, breathless interpretation and sleek, sleepy rhythms made the rock club feel more like an opulent Lincoln Road lounge on a Saturday night (and most definitely not a Tuesday).
That calm was immediately broken by the arrival of Glass Animals onstage who, despite their repertoire of chilled-out, R&B-infused jams, elicited an emphatic, deafening greeting from the crowd. Aside from dancing where they stood, moving about the venue wasn’t really an option for most; but that hardly mattered once the beats began dripping. For example, “Gooey” was as smooth and creamy as its “peanut butter vibes” would suggest.
Glass Animals played their entire 2014 debut LP, Zaba, a blend of blue-eyed soul and hazy, electro psych-rock, and kept the audience enraptured throughout the evening. With all the adoration enveloping him, frontman and lead singer Dave Bayley felt right at home, getting so comfortable he took his shoes off. It freed a dancing spirit within Bayley, and soon he was a sinewy, serpentine, spring-loaded toy slinking back and forth across the stage.
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Two of the best moments came when Glass Animals messed about with a pair of covers. “Gold Lime,” their clever mashup of “Gold Lion” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Erykah Badu's “The Healer” had a groove that simply wouldn’t quit. As good as it sounds on SoundCloud, the live version of “Gold Lime,” with Bayley doing his smokiest Karen O, is incomparable.
Then there was the Kanye West “Love Lockdown” cover during the encore. Because it was bound to happen, Bayley leapt into the crowd at this point and performed nearly the entirety of the hit in the arms of his fans and their flash photography. Less like the song’s author, Bayley is a man of the people and only made the rabid audience love him all the more after braving the storm of sweaty arms and grabby hands.
Once the final notes of “Pools,” their closer, faded away, Fort Lauderdale let Glass Animals have it. Had the crowd not already been on their feet, they would’ve jumped out of their chairs and given the band the roaring standing ovation they deserved.