Back in the summer of 2018, Glass Animals were flying high. The British indie rockers were becoming fast festival favorites, gaining a devoted following with their genre-defying grooves and enchanting live shows. But all that momentum came to a screeching halt when drummer Joe Seaward suffered a fractured skull in a cycling accident in Dublin. Glass Animals subsequently cancelled all remaining tour dates, and the future of a band-on-the-rise seemed uncertain.

Some groups in this situation may have just found a replacement drummer and carried on their inevitable path to superstardom. But, to their credit, Glass Animals supported Seaward 100% in his rehabilitation, granting him all the time he needed to heal before returning to the stage.

A few weeks ago, the band announced a North American tour that would bring them back to their roots, at intimate venues across the country. And by the roar of the crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday night, it was clear that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Even in New York.

Smoke billowed above the capacity crowd, setting the vibe for the Wednesday night dance party about to pop off. The scene was electric, as both the band and audience were eager to embrace that old feeling once again.

Singer Dave Bayley quickly cast a spell over the crowd with his silky smooth vocals and deeply emotive dance moves, especially on songs like “Black Mambo” and “Poplar St”. Full of frenetic energy, he is the kind of frontman who, even if reciting words from an academic journal, could still somehow get people bobbing and moving along in ecstasy.

The sexy, sultry, jungle-like sounds emitting from his bandmates (Seaward, Ed Irwin-Singer, and Drew MacFarlane) definitely help, though. Glass Animals’ style may be hard to define, but they sure can hold down a groove. It’s almost like their songs hit a primal nerve in listeners, beckoning your bones to boogie down.

In addition to performing songs from their wildly popular albums ZABA and How To Be A Human Being, the boys also played their new single, ‘Love You (Déjà vu)’ and debuted a brand new tune called ‘Tangerine’. A cover of Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’ kicked off the encore before Glass Animals closed out the night with the catchy-as-hell ‘Pork Soda’.

Now that Glass Animals are back in good health and good spirits, we can’t wait to see what happens next… | Brooklyn