Austin Psych Fest Live (Saturday): Avey Tare

He’s no Animal Collective

Avey Tare spends most of his time singing in Brooklyn’s Animal Collective, so his solo career notches only a brief run of two LPs that sound like a sweatier, more directly psychedelic version of his band’s campfire sing-a-longs. Simply put, you could argue he didn’t deserve the packed Levitation Tent Saturday night, but reputation goes a long way.

Photo by Gary Miller

The disappointing, and completely obvious fact was simple: Tare wasn’t here to play Animal Collective songs. He was working through material on this year’s totally acceptable Enter the Slasher House. He slammed his guitar all the way through the arpeggiating “A Sender,” beckoning to the hopefuls on his own unaffiliated terms.

Meanwhile, a few kids around me had paper glasses on their noses, designed to make the projections phase out in geometric rainbows. This was Avey Tare’s baby – his space to play his songs with his art, his lights, and his POV. He’s totally justified in telling anyone looking for “My Girls” to go fuck themselves.

I was one of those assholes, briefly.

Some of us collectively duped ourselves into thinking that the Avey Tare solo collection was going to enchant us in the way his other band has for more than a decade. It didn’t help that the keyboards were too loud, his trademark throaty incantations blurry, or that the heaviest psychedelic moments were among the most annoying things all weekend.

Then I remembered that the last time I saw Animal Collective, they jammed for 90 minutes and only played two songs I knew. Avey Tare’s APF set made me miss an ideal that’s never actually existed.

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Avey Tare, Animal Collective, Austin Psych Fest 2014

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