Concert Review: Panda Bear at Governor’s Island on 09/11/2010

Full Audio of Panda Bear at Governor’s Island, Courtesy of NYC Taper

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to travel to New York City to see Noah Lennox a.k.a. Panda Bear perform at The Beach on Governor’s Island.

The overall atmosphere of the show was unique due to the date and location: the show was held in New York City on the 9th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. On a day of sorrow, plenty of people were able to transfer their emotions into excitement for the incredible display of music and visuals.

Seeing a show on Governor’s Island is quite the experience. If you don’t know where Governor’s Island is, it is located just off the southern tip of Manhattan (see map). The Beach, which is the outdoor concert venue located on the island, has a clear view of downtown Manhattan.

A ticket to the Beach also includes round-trip transportation via ferry; New York City from East River is a unique sight to see. Once there, the venue entertains concert-goers with a sand-filled concert floor full of barbeques, benches and fake palm trees, all in attempt to establish a summer beach vibe.

The opening line-up for the show was Teengirl Fantasy and Gala Drop, with Avey Tere DJing between sets. I was especially excited to see Avey Tere (member of Animal Collective) for two reasons: I hoped that he would play some music from his new album “Down There” due out in October as well as collaborate live with Panda Bear. Unfortunately, neither of my desires were fulfilled.

Teengirl Fantasy excited the crowd with their sample-heavy electronic dance set. I found the choice of Teengirl Fantasy to be slightly out-of-place due to Panda’s down-tempo drones, however everyone had a fantastic time nevertheless. Teengirl Fantasy has a new album “7AM” out now and you can check out their hit-song “Cheaters” here. Gala Drop is an instrumental jam-band from Portugal whose set was a good transition from Teengirl Fantasy to Panda Bear. Learn more or listen to Gala Drop here.

By this point in the night, the sunset had long passed and the Twin Towers were illuminated into the night sky as a tribute at Ground Zero. It was an amazing sight to see, especially while Panda Bear was performing.

Panda’s set came out to be around an hour and ten minutes, which by my standards fell way too short. As you will read, he played new material extensively from the upcoming album “Tomboy” and failed to play most of his older material. The full setlist can be seen at the end of the article.

Panda entered into a full stage of fog and immediately began to play the iconic “Drone” and literally shook the crowd. I was located right in front of the bass amps and trust me, it was somewhere between a hurricane and an earthquake. “Drone” is without a doubt one of the best concert introductions that I have seen.

Throughout the entire set, Danny Perez (the director of ODDSAC) was present to run the concert visuals. The visuals were classic Danny Perez psychedelic-interlaced videos, made with the intention of leaving you slightly confused, yet incredibly enthused.

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