Glass Animals impressed Milwaukee with their peanut butter vibes

L-shaped Tetris blocks hang from the ceiling. A disco ball sparkles in The Riverside Theater sky. Cacti placed around the stage. It is unclear what is about to take place, but the audience will soon see they are in for a treat.

Glass Animals returned to Milwaukee for their “How to be a Human Being” tour centered around their latest album of the same name. They brought along English alternative band Pumarosa, who opened the show. 

Pumarosa really fit the electric, psychadelic vibes that Glass Animal has turned into their signature sound. However, they didn’t really pump up the crowd and get us ready for the main event. During their set, the crowd became more interested in their phones and beer than the music on stage. Don’t get me wrong, Pumarosa put on a good show, but they aren’t necessarily a household name, and there was really no way they would compare to what Glass Animals was about to throw down. Towards the end of their set, you could tell the crowd was getting antsy for the headliner, but it wasn’t much longer until they were going to take the stage.

Once the stage turned dark and music started to fade up, the crowd was like a pack of monkeys hollering in excitement. Right from the start, the lights were going wild, and Glass Animals matched them with their extremely high energy. As they opened with one of their newer songs, “Life Itself,” lead singer Dave Bayley made the show fun right from the start, dancing and jumping around the stage to the beat.

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Photo by Kelsea McCulloch / Pabst Theater Group

This continued for the whole show. Bayley bopped around the stage, groovin’ in his own goofy way, pumping up the Riverside Theater crowd. 

Bayley just was being himself on stage, and it was wonderful. You could tell he wasn’t afraid to do weird dance moves. He just wanted to do his thing on stage and have the best time possible. You can just tell that the band loves performing and have a blast together doing so, which made it more fun for the audience. The crowd’s excitement level shot up like a rocket from when they hit the stage. 

The biggest ovation came when Glass Animals belted out their hit, “Gooey,” which to me was the highlight of the show. The whole crowd sang along to it and were dancing all over. The guy next to me was tearing up the aisle with his shakes and shimmies. This was the scene all through the night. Some of the more popular songs included “Cocoa Hooves,” “Cane Shuga,” and “Take a Slice.”

The energy of the band and the crowd honestly sucks you in. I totally forgot anything else was going on, because I was in my own little world at this concert. You get so into feeling the music and moving along to it that nothing else mattered, and that’s what a great show should do. 

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Photo from by Kelsea McCulloch / Pabst Theater Group

It was crazy also that I didn’t have a sea of cellphones in the crowd distracting me throughout the show. People were there to enjoy the concert in the moment and dance the night away. It was so refreshing.

As the crowd would excitedly scream at the top of their lungs between each song, Bayley would stand there in amazement with a huge smile on his face and no words to say. Seeing the passion the band has for their fans and their performance made Wednesday night’s show unforgettable.

They closed their set with “Pools,” then  exited the stage, but it didn’t take the audience long to get them to come back for an encore. The audience clapped to the beat, watching Bayley dance around with a pineapple, and continued to keep up the same energy they had from the start.

Once they sang their last note, the crowd loses it. They scream and applaud endlessly until the lights come up in the theater.

Needless to say, this show came to impress, and it absolutely did that. Everyone in the audience left happy and were gabbing to who they came with how much they loved it. Glass Animals are loved by Milwaukee. It’s safe to say that fans here will obsessively listen to all their music to hold us over until they return again.

SET LIST:

“Life Itself”

“Youth”

“Black Mambo”

“Hazey”

“Poplar St.”

“The Other Side of Paradise”

“Gooey”

“Take a Slice”

“Toes”

“Cocoa Hooves”

“Cane Shuga”

“Pools”

ENCORE:

“Season 2 Episode 3”

“Pork Soda”

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