Glass Animals and Little Dragon: Santa Barbara Bowl

This week’s post is a little different from the rest. Instead of covering a new music genre, I will be writing about the bands Little Dragon and Glass Animals, and reviewing their show at the Santa Barbara Bowl last Saturday night.

Little Dragon are an electronic band from Gothenburg, Sweden, formed in 1996. The band consists of lead singer and percussionist Yukimi Nagano, drummer Erik Bodin, bassist Fredrik Kallgren Wallin, and keyboardist Hakan Wirenstrand. Their debut self-titled album was released in 2007, featuring their most popular song, “Twice,” which has been sampled in multiple films and tv shows. They have a unique indie style, with soulful melodies and a very quirky and charming frontwoman.

Glass Animals are an indie rock band formed in Oxford in 2012. Members include singer Dave Bayley, Drew MacFarlane, Joe Seaward, and Edmund Irwin-Singer. Their first album, ZABA, was released in 2014 and they made it big with their song “Gooey.” Their latest album is called How To Be A Human Being, and is a distinct followup to their debut. Glass animals definitely aren’t tied down to a single genre, as they have songs that are heavily electronic, as well as traditional alternative rock songs, and Dave Bayley’s vocals are smooth and a touch jazzy.

I had the opportunity to see both bands play at the Santa Barbara Bowl, and of all the concerts I’ve been to, this was definitely up there with the best shows of my life.

Little Dragon went on first, and their performance was weird in all the right ways. They got the entire crowd on their feet as Yukimi came out covered in a giant hot pink veil, which she kept on throughout the performance. The set was very instrumental, with the singer dancing around on stage and enticing the crowd to do the same to funky songs like “Ritual Union” and “High.” It was my first time seeing them in concert, and I will definitely see them again. I’ll give this performance a 9/10, only because I was really hoping they would play “No Love” and “Twice,” but I’ll catch it next time.

This was my third time seeing Glass Animals. The first time I saw them was before they had developed a huge fanbase, and I knew they would be going places after watching them set the tiny venue at Earl Warren Showgrounds on fire. The next time I saw them, I paid over twice as much for not so decent seats at the Greek Theater in LA, and it was totally worth it. Their new album sounded amazing live, and my only complaint was that I wasn’t close enough. But their show last weekend was possibly the greatest live performance I have ever experienced. I got there early and scored a spot front and center in general admission. The set pieces and the lighting were incredible, better than before, and I hadn’t realized that this was the last show of their North American tour. So it was an incredibly emotional performance, and Dave Bayley even said that we were “so much better than Coachella,” which they had played the night before. In addition, this was two weeks after Dave broke his ankle, and he was more animated and energetic than ever, tearing up the stage with a cast on his leg. The band did an amazing job of interacting with the audience, and it was the coolest feeling in the world to be singing along and dancing with them up close and personal. They all expressed their gratitude multiple times throughout the show, and I was very proud that they ended their tour in my hometown. There was not a single person in the audience who wasn’t on their feet, and I’m giving this performance a 13/10. It’s going to be pretty hard for someone else to top what Glass Animals threw down last week.

The pictures do not even come close to capturing how cool this show was; both bands absolutely killed it. Next time either of them play anywhere nearby, you can count on me being there. Comment below on what I should write about next week!

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