Watch: Animal Collective puts “Summertime Clothes” on Letterman

When it comes to Animal Collective performing on late night television, you never really can know what to expect. Having only performed once before, on Conan back in 2007, there’s not much of a precedent. But there is one, and it happened to be the boys (then a foursome) choosing to perform the most inaccessible song, “#1”, from their otherwise stunningly catchy Strawberry Jam. So as I flipped my TV to CBS at 12:30 last night, I looked on with an eager sense of doubt.

After Letterman poked fun at Merriweather Post Pavilion‘s wallpaper-like cover art, the boys immediately jumped into a dazzling performance of a standout among standouts, “Summertime Clothes”. Already this was a better song selection than “#1” (the song is a grower, but it’s not exactly immediate). They harmonized, they sampled, they manipulated. The song sounded phenomenal. But what the hell was with those dancing sheet-men behind them? Don’t get me wrong, Animal Collective is an exceptional act (Merriweather Post Pavilion, album of the year, anyone?). But, something about the injection of interpretive dance in an AC performance just bugged me. I hope that these dancers don’t come on the tour to make a mockery of such beautiful music. Otherwise, the guys stole the show. But, judge for yourself:

So, yeah. Just nicks those dancers next time. K?


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