Last Tuesday Night, Glass Animals brought a musical and visual feast to Portland’s Keller Auditorium. The band’s 2020 album Dreamland saw their career rocket to new heights, with their song “Heat Waves” recently hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and breaking the record for the longest climb to #1 in the chart’s history, with 59 weeks spent on the chart. It’s an incredible feat, made all the more impressive by the fact that the band released their first album back in 2014. Their momentum had been growing steadily ever since, but Dreamland has taken them to another dimension.
Glass Animals are now playing the biggest venues of their career with sold out shows all across the country on their current North American Tour of Dreamland. They’ve played their way through the East Coast, the south, and have finally made their way to the Pacific Northwest for two consecutive nights in Portland. Their music has taken hold in a big way in America, and the packed Portland crowd was a testament to that. People of all ages packed into what felt like every inch of the Keller Auditorium for a show full of color, bombast, and a vision that can only be seen at a Glass Animals show.
The band opened with the Dreamland title track and they were off to the races. The stage was reminiscent of hotel, complete with a basketball hoop, pool, and diving board that Glass Animals frontman Dave Bayley returned to throughout the show. The giant screen behind the band projected scenes of a saturated, vaporwave utopia in which Dreamland exists; it felt both futuristic and retro, and was a perfect visual to compliment the color and energy of Glass Animals. The visuals were an absolute feast for the eyes, and the music was definitely a feast for the ears.
Glass Animals’ sound has can be described a bombastic and playful, but they are also atmospheric in how they transport their listeners to a unique time and place with each of their projects. The atmosphere of Dreamland was present even before the show started, but the transportation really begun once the band took the stage. Bayley’s stage presence is undeniable as he dances, poses, plays guitar, and sings all over the stage for the entirety of the show. He’s able to capture the drama of the band’s music and project it through his movements as well as his voice. The rest of the band – Drew MacFarlane, Edmund Irwin-Singer, and Joe Seaward – looked like they were having a blast as they carried the show’s impressive display of drums, guitars, and keys.
The show included standout tracks like “Tangerine” which saw some fans throwing actual tangerines on stage (one of which Bayley caught), “The Other Side of Paradise” which included some of the most intense visuals, lighting, and instrumentation of the night, and “Heat Waves” as the encore nearly blew the roof off the place. Freshly the #1 song in the country, the crowd could be heard singing every word and dancing to every beat of “Heat Waves” along with the band, making for a beautiful moment of togetherness to close the show. The show was a stunning display by Glass Animals that made us even more thankful that live music is back here in North America. Check out our photos from the show below, and click here to see if Glass Animals is coming to a city near you!