A mysterious figure appears on stage during the Animal Collective performance. Cervanté Pope/PSU Vanguard
For those familiar with Animal Collective, the introverted, mental mechanics of their songs are usually experienced within the private confines of headphones. Rarely does the occurrence of Animal Collective and, in turn, their individual members’, hyper-visual resonance get to be taken in face-to-face. This fairly uncommon sight was one to behold at Holocene’s early, sold-out Avey Tare and Jabon show.
Getting into the venue was a queue of cigarette smoke and apathetic silence—the line itself extending from the venue to the other side of the block. One thing that bonded the all-ages crowd was adoration of an artist who was so definitive of a specific area in their lives. Avey Tare is who drew everyone there, but the audience got an eyeful of an experience before him.
The opener, Seattle’s Jabon, was of a specific and particular taste. Concealed by a ceremonial cloak similar to those of the ritualistic Ordo Templi Orientis and a painted mask combining the pattern styles of Insane Clown Posse and Guy Fawkes, Jabon’s whole schtick was like some weird, lucid, late-night Adult Swim commercial. Musically, he mixed the heavily tech-based sounds of Black Moth Super Rainbow with the slight mainstream pop accessibility of Animal Collective in what he describes to be “dark ambient avant-garde disco comedy.”
Comedic indeed—he pranced about the stage with the same energy as an overly gesturing drunk uncle at a family reunion, adding a bit of jocular flair that peeked through the buildup from the fog machine. At one point, he read a couple of pages from a children’s book he claims to have written himself before spouting an attempt at a spoken word ditty about different types of pasta.
He made eye contact with someone in the audience, presumably …