Panda Bear at The Opera House
Panda Bear is the stage name of Noah Lennox, one of the core members of experimental psychedelic group Animal Collective. While Animal Collective have an impressive discography behind them, spanning over a decade, Lennox has also made quite a name for himself as a solo artist. He released his debut album Person Pitch in 2007, followed by 2011’s Tomboy, and now he is back with a third album on the way, tentatively titled Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper.
Lennox is playing a handful of shows this spring and summer to promote and preview some material off the new album and Toronto fans got a chance to get in on the action when he stopped by for a sold out show at The Opera House on May 20th.
Any fans who were expecting him to play old favourites like “Comfy in Nautica” or “Bros” off of Person Pitch may have been slightly disappointed, since the only taste of old material we got during the entire hour-and-a-half set were three songs from Tomboy during the final encore, “Last Night at The Jetty,” “Scheherazade” and “Surfer’s Hymn.” The rest was entirely dedicated to never-before-heard material. This might not have gone over well for other artists, but somehow, for Panda Bear it worked. He had the audience completely transfixed in an almost trance-like state the entire time. Every so often he’d say a polite “thank you” between songs and the crowd would erupt into uproarious applause but mostly people just stood still and watched Lennox with a sort of quiet awe.
Panda’s Mix Of Music & Visual Elements Add Something Extra Special
It wasn’t just the music that sucked people in, which was fantastic on it’s own, but the visual element of the show really added something extra special. Images of women with painted faces, candy, reptiles, flowers, fruits, clouds and, random colours and shapes all swirled in the background with the occasional strobe effect as Lennox stood in the center of it all and played his layered, synth-heavy tracks. It was a literal feast for the eyes and ears, and I am thrilled that I got to be a part of it.
Panda Bear tour dates:
Mon 05/26/14 Pioneertown, CA, Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace
Tues 05/27/14 Los Angeles, CA, El Ray Theatre
Appearing with Lightening Bolt
Sat 05/31/14 Nagano, Japan, Tiaco Club
Appearing at “Un Altro Festival” (Milan)
Mon 07/14/14 Milan, Italy, Parco Circolo Magnolia
Appearing at “Un Altro Festival” (Bologna)
Tues 07/15/14 Bologna, Italty, Fiera District
Appearing at “Super Bock Super Rock Fesival”
Thurs 07/17/14 Sesimbra, Portugal, Praia Do Meco
Panda Bear “Comfy in Nautica”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYwCWT-e_jM
Panda Bear live at Austin Psych Fest 2014: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDVKA7UB_mI