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REVIEW: Glass Animals’ ‘Dreamland Tour’ at Rock City

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nottingham chapter.

Sophie reviews Glass Animals performance at our very own Rock City this week, as a stop on their nationwide tour, and shares her impression of the band live – as well as the atmosphere of the UK’s No.1 Live Music Venue!

On Monday 15th November, Glass Animals (a British indie pop/rock, electronic rock, and psychedelic pop band from Oxford formed in 2010) performed at Rock City as part of their Dreamland Tour, and fortunately I had the opportunity to go and watch the band live.

To sum their performance up in just three words would be: euphoric, exhilarating, and electric.

In short, they did not disappoint!

The Performance

The period between the support act Biig Piig (Jessica Smyth) leaving the stage and Glass Animalscoming on was very exciting. I think that everyone in the crowd felt the atmosphere of anticipation as the band’s entrance to the stage was imminent.

One of things I loved about the show was the sense of inclusivity the night had with families, couples, friends, and even individuals who had come alone, all gathered in the crowd ready to watch the band who had brought them together. This feeling of togetherness was extended throughout Glass Animals’ performance.

Finally, after much fidgeting, the band emerged from the wings and walked proudly on the stage to be met by raucous screams and warming whoops. They wasted little time and quickly dove into getting the show started with their music. There seemed to be an instantaneous feeling of relief from the crowd as soon as Dave Bayley and the band began to strum and sing away, which was something really special to experience.   

Within the hour or so Glass Animals were on stage they managed to play a huge number of their songs including Life Itself, I Don’t Wanna Talk, Tangerine, Your Love (Déjà Vu) and some fan favourites like Pork Soda, Tokyo Drifting (Wavey Davey) and Heatwaves.

I thought the staging and the props on stage were instrumental in bringing the songs alive. The oversized palm trees placed at either side of the stage, the neon signs, as well as the monochrome neon lights that featured throughout the show lighting up the band really resonated the Glass Animals’ aesthetic and the group’s retro and graphic vibe.

I think that going to see live music is something so special and nothing really compares to the electric atmosphere and buzz that it creates. But you can either be left feeling satisfied or deflated, perhaps because of the artist’s disappointing vocals and/or stage presence. However, Glass Animals 100% did not disappoint. The vocals and guitar riffs sounded identical to their studio albums which was so refreshing to hear, and demonstrates the genuine and authentic talent of the band.

From the very first beat, frontman Dave Bayley commanded and worked the stage seamlessly. His quirky nature and charisma had the crowd at his mercy throughout the show. I loved the way he interacted with the crowd and made everyone feel as though they were as much a part of the show as they themselves. My favourite moment was when the infamous pineapple was ritualistically brought out onto the stage to accompany a fan favourite Pork Soda which contains the line ‘Pineapples are in my head’ – hence the pineapple!

Although the show was euphoric there were moments of high emotions, particularly when Bayley sang The Other Side of Paradise. The audience could see the outpour of emotion Bayley was giving to the lyrics. The line ‘I feel of fucking numb, it hits my head I feel dumb’, was profoundly powerful as the crowd yelled the line out with Bayley with full conviction. This for me demonstrates the power and greatness of the band with their music being equally uplifting as well as having darker and deeper moments.

Looking towards the band on stage it was obvious that they were enjoying playing their songs as much as we were enjoying listening to them. As well, the clear chemistry and comfortableness the band had with one another was obvious due to the long friendship shared between all four members, which added to the performance and specialty of the songs.

The power of the show was that it allowed momentary escapism and an appreciation for live music and the raw emotions it created. From beginning to the end, the atmosphere was flawlessly electric thanks to the amazing talents of Dave Bayley, Joe Seaward, Ed Irwin-Singer, and Drew MacFarlane. I felt lucky to have been a part of something which felt like a dream.

If you are intrigued by Glass Animals after reading this article – check them out!

Sophie Bryer

Nottingham '23

Hiya, I’m Soph! I am a third year English BA student (wooo!) This will be my second year writing for HC and I am proud to be apart of such a positive community of female writers voicing topics that matters to them. As well as being a writer for HC I am also apart of the executive team this year! I enjoy writing about the world around me, my experiences, my interests and my advice. Particular women and working-class issues. Hopefully what I write about is relatable, original and interesting… enjoy :)