Dave Bayley and his band, better known as Glass Animals, graced Columbus with the “Dreamland Tour” on Sept. 24.
“Dreamland,” Glass Animals’ third album released in August 2020, finally got its chance to be performed live at the Express Live! House. It was a sold out, outdoor show with a capacity of 5,200 guests. This made for an intimate show and allowed the whole crowd to feel close to the band. It was all general admission with a lawn and pit, standing room only.
By 6:30 p.m., shortly after the doors opened, the pit filled with people. The stage was set with a large platform for the band to perform on that was filled with pink monochromatic props like oversized palm trees, an oversized basketball hoop, hanging LED signs and a diving board that looked out over the crowd.
A large computer screen that matched the show’s vintage technology aesthetic hung at the back of the stage and required a username and password to “log in.”
The password was typed in twice (it was wrong the first time) and fans were let in to see the two files stored on “Wavey Davey’s Desktop,” labeled “Opener” and “Glass Animals.” The cursor kept teasing the crowd, hovering above the “Glass Animals” file but eventually clicked on “Opener,” and in came Binki, a rock/funk/pop mixture artist.
Binki only sang for about 30 minutes, but he kept the crowd entertained with upbeat dancing music and the occasional magic trick.
After watching the cursor click on the “Glass Animals” folder, the files downloaded for 20 minutes, then the five minute countdown began.
Bayley opened the show with “Dreamland,” an emotional song about looking into your mind as a visitor, rather than yourself. The set list focused mostly on “Dreamland,” but still included five songs from the band’s sophomore album “How To Be A Human Being” and three songs from its debut album, “Zaba.”
Bayley’s groovy dance moves and guitar duets accompanied the band’s upbeat songs, and he never missed the beat. Bouncing back and forth on the diving board and the other side of the stage, Bayley kept the crowd engaged at all times, even letting them sing the best lines in the songs.
When Bayley sang “It’s All So Incredibly Loud,” he was not jumping around with the excitement like before, but instead with rage and agony.
The whimsical-sounding song is focused on the silence between telling someone heart wrenching news and hearing one's answer, as explained by Bayley upon release. Lyrics like “whispers would deafen me now” and “heartbreak was never so loud” were sung with passion and only sung by Bayley, as the crowd was quiet for the song.
Using his hands to express emotions that seemed to want out of his body, the aura of the song was peaceful to the ears but packed with the same sensations as it must have taken to write it. The crowd went wild when the song closed, and tears were shed by much of the audience.
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The main show closed with “Pork Soda,” a song from “How To Be A Human Being.” The popular line “pineapples are in my head” was screamed so loud that people were losing their voices in the crowd. The line was paired with Bayley holding a pineapple above his head, then tossing it out into the crowd.
The band left the stage, only to come back shortly after for an encore with two of their biggest songs, “Tokyo Drifting” and “Heat Waves.” Everyone in the venue sang along to every word, as “Heat Waves” has over one billion streams..
This concert was a euphoric experience and even though the band did not sing my favorite song, “Agnes,” I would consider this the best concert I’ve ever seen.
The relationship between both Bayley and his songs and him and the crowd were incredible. The joy on his face while performing made for a warm feeling throughout the venue.
This show was performed by Glass Animals, but also by the crowd. Everyone in the pit truly knew every song and could arguably be the band's biggest fan. Wavey Davey was most definitely on fire.
Rating: 10/10, 5 stars, debating on buying tickets for the Cleveland show next week.