Splice Magazine

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Panda Bear + Geologist @ The Majestic, Detroit, MI

Detroit, Michigan (May 1, 2018) Do you remember that line from The Matrix where Neo asks, “You ever have that feeling where you’re not sure if you’re awake or still dreaming?” That honestly sums up what your experience is like seeing Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) and Geologist (Brian Weitz) performing live at The Majestic in Detroit, MI tonight.

Both artists are founding members of the hugely successful indie rock group, Animal Collective, who originally met back in their high school days. When performing with the Collective, Weitz handles samples and electronic manipulation where Lennox provides vocals, guitar, and various other instruments. On their own though, their sounds and completely unique, but at the same time when you hear it you know, they are part of Animal Collective.

Geologist’s name comes from the headlamp he wears to see his rig on stage, making him resemble a spelunker out on an expedition. From the dim lights and lack of background lighting, it’s undoubtedly something needed. Geologist’s sound will take you from ambient to experimental, to otherworldly with seamless transitions along the ride. The set this night was just that. Some songs made you feel like you were in some kind of underwater wonderland while others you would have thought you were floating on the edge of the atmosphere. Sounds that would make you wonder, am I awake or am I still dreaming?

© Splice Magazine – David Painter. Please do not alter images.

I can’t really tell you that that theme didn’t carry over into
Panda Bear’s set, either. Surprisingly I haven’t used to the word “trippy” to describe these performances yet, but that is one of the differences between the two artists; that and perhaps the vocals Lennox lays down. Panda Bear’s vocals will take you on a ride from haunting to borderline screams at times, an impressive feat when you realize just how well it fits the sounds he’s putting out from his synths.

© Splice Magazine – David Painter. Please do not alter images.

Some tracks like, “Nod to the Folks”, will remind you a bit more of an old-school raver than the trippy psychedelic rhythmic sounds and vocals of “Boys Latin”.  With hypnotic lights accompanying Lennox on stage it only added to the effect. Still not sure if you’re awake or still dreaming? That’s exactly what I feel Panda Bear was going for. The images on stage shape shifting from lips to fruit to dancers to hooded figures turning into skulls, the entire show is a sensory explosion. You wouldn’t know how to prepare for it, but if you knew what to expect, would you really want to?

Panda Bear:


The Majestic:

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