Glass Animals light up Hollywood Forever with the neon-blazing wonders of “Dreamland”

Glass Animals light up Hollywood Forever with the neon-blazing wonders of "Dreamland"
Glass Animals light up Hollywood Forever — Photo by Steven Ward

Renovating Hollywood Forever Cemetery with their eccentric and highly danceable pop-rock numbers into a technicolor dance floor, Glass Animals made sure the first of their two-night residency was a bombastic one. The last time they were in Los Angeles the four-piece, comprised of frontman Dave Bayley and his childhood friends: bassist Ed Irwin-Singer, guitarist/keyboardist Drew MacFarlane, and drummer Joe Seaward, performed their last U.S. show at the Troubadour — just before the pandemic put an end to live concerts for over a year. Glass Animals’ 17-song set revealed that Bayley and company were just as desperately missing the stage as fans were of seeing them perform.

Grouplove at Hollywood Palladium

Opening with the spacey broadcasts of “Dreamland,” Glass Animals dived right into a flurry of funky favorites. From atop their ornate set — one that featured everything from a pool complete with diving board, a basketball hoop, palms (in addition to the real ones that cast their silhouettes around the cemetery), retro neon signs, and, of course, a pineapple — Bayley danced along to the jagged melody of “Life Itself” and the erratic beats of “Tangerine.” Their massive setlist gave fans a hardy taste of all three of their albums, from ZABA breakout hit “Gooey” to How To Be A Human Being with “Youth,” a poignant anthem that featured home videos of Bayley’s childhood played behind him as he crooned.

But it was Dreamland that had some of the best moments of the night, their thrumming electronica amplified by the prism of light that was their stage and the huge screen that sat behind them transmitting vivid, neon-blazing vision pulled straight from the album’s lush soundscapes. From the bass-oscillating and ecstatically groovy “Space Ghost Coast To Coast,” to the soaring synth-crescendo and Bayley’s piercingly anxious howls on “It’s All So Incredibly Loud,” it was the songs of Dreamland that completely soaked fans in their earnest delirium.

Billie Eilish LA Phil Hollywood Bowl
Binki at Hollywood Forever
Binki at Hollywood Forever — Photo by Steven Ward

Binki opened the night for Glass Animals, riling up the crowd with 90s reminiscent blends of rock and pop-hooks a-la Outkast. Playing songs off his recently released MOTOR FUNCTION EP Binki might’ve stood alone on that empty, massive stage — but he was by far more than capable of filling it with his enigmatic and electrifying presence. Jamming out as if he was the only one present, hidden behind dark sunglasses he continued to wear as the sun went down, Binki raged spiritually to the driving energies of his tracks.

Words & Photos Steven Ward