Review and pictures by Haylie Presnell | @halcyonranger
The Majestic Theater was packed on Wednesday night in anticipation for Oxford-based band, Glass Animals.
The venue was simple, yet with a hint of glamour to keep the attention on the stage. While it was spacious, the audience began to pack in when the night’s opener, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, began churning out his funky yet sensual tunes.
Montano began his set with one of his popular hits, “Everything is Everything”. The song (and the rest of the set list) only required the presence of the singer and his drummer. “Everything is Everything” set the tone for a chill and euphoric night as Montano continued to play songs off of his album Bishoune: Alma de Huilai. The audience reacted warmly to the singer’s charming charisma as he cracked a couple of jokes and admitted that this was his first U.S. tour before going into “Sour Mango”. Montano also played his song “6 8” which he joked was a cover of an Aubrey Graham song ( famous rapper, Drake, sampled “6 8” in his song “Jungle”). With that, he exited the stage – not before helping the stagehands take some equipment off stage first.
The crowd began to pack together like sardines as they awaited the main act to appear. People of all ages – from teenagers to older couples – all wanted to get their groove on to the smooth sounds of Glass Animals.
The main act emerged from a smoky green mist and smoke before jumping right into their hit single, “Black Mambo” (yeah, the one from the iPhone 6 commercial). Immediately, the crowd went wild and it began a giant sing-along between fans and the band. Glass Animals powered through their set featuring songs from their album ZABA which included: “Hazey”, “Walla Walla”, and “Toes” before jumping into the crowd favorite, “Gooey”, a.k.a the song that gets people feeling those “peanut butter vibes”. Those vibes, however, were interrupted by a chaotic confrontation between Majestic security guards and two very spiteful blondes who escaped their grasp not once, not twice…but four times. The pair left two concertgoers bloody after some hits to the face, but neither of the two injured let their strange encounter affect their experience at the concert. Glass Animals were also not affected as they rounded out their initial set with “Cocoa Hooves”, a slow and mesmerizing tune that left many swaying in unison and many a couple grinding. The band expressed their thanks and their enjoyment at this first gig in Detroit before exiting the stage briefly while the audience immediately started their chant for an encore.
It wasn’t long before the quartet reappeared on the stage basked in harsh, red lighting. They immediately announced they’d play a couple more tunes before diving in to a rousing rendition of “Love Lockdown” from the infamous Kanye West. What made the performance even more engaging was the fact that the band’s frontman Dave Bayley jumped fearlessly into the crowd as security watched helplessly from the sidelines. This moment was not quick, for Bayley performed basically the entire song surrounded in a cocoon of sweaty arms that grabbed at him or took video of his performance on their smartphones. When “Love Lockdown” was finished, he returned to the stage to announce their last song would be their latest, “Pools”.
With the end of “Pools”, Glass Animals took their bows and exited in shadowy blue smog to a long round of applause – their debut in Detroit clearly well-receieved.