PHOTOS: Animals As Leaders, Intervals, Plini—November 16th, 2016 @ The Commodore, Vancouver, BC & November 25th, 2016 @ Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL

Washington D.C.’s purveyors of instrumental djent, Animals As Leaders, have vigorously toured across Europe and North America in 2016 to not merely sharpen their prowess on stage, but to promote their then-upcoming release of their latest record, The Madness of Many.

The Madness of Many “shows promise and potential for a group that keeps finding new ways to keep themselves interesting” [review], says our own Ryan Castrati. However, what’s on record doesn’t always translate to a live performance. A band like Animals As Leaders could very well be hit-or-miss considering the thoughtful technicality and intense compositions created in the studio. This trio is on stage killing it night after night, sweat dripping from their brows under the hot lights as they furiously beat their instruments into submission.

The sold out show in Chicago at the 700-body capacity Bottom Lounge was a sight, being one of the few nights the venue put a barrier up, seemingly knowing the acts were going to attract some attention. Coming off a European leg with the same tour group, the four members that comprise Plini‘s live set also make up Intervals, creating the comical-yet-adorable portmanteau in Plintervals. The set change was merely a formality, as Plini merely switched spots on stage with Intervals’ Aaron Marshall for the sake of denoting which set was performing.

Plini’s music, both on record and in a live setting, is wonderful and relaxing. The smooth and pleasant vibes emanating from his Strandberg guitar filled Bottom Lounge with this soft, awesome wave, like being on one of the beautiful beaches of his home continent of Australia. In contrast, the shift to Intervals’ tunes brought upon a quickened pace, with more aggression influenced by the djent movement of the last handful of years. Though a grand transition from the vocally-centered A Voice Within in 2014, Marshall found a greater sense of comfort returning to his instrumental roots, all while being influenced by more modern instrumental progressive musicians—including Plini himself.

If both Plini’s and Intervals’ sets were delectable appetizers, Animals As Leaders was a filling main course, with the band ripping through songs from their four album discography. Setlist staples like “Tempting Time” and “Physical Education” energized the crowd, while tracks from The Madness of Many made their live debut to all present listeners. The lack of familiarity didn’t stop crowd members from grooving, even with the album’s release barely two weeks prior, but they the new jams seemed to have difficulty capturing the same spirits. Of course, this could be the problem with any band’s music, as it takes time to more fully appreciate newer work. There were still dozens of people that found solace in the obvious hooks and earnest musicianship that Animals As Leaders bring to the proverbial table.

Please enjoy the photos of Plini and Intervals (combined into Plintervals sets) and Animals As Leaders below from both the Vancouver stop and the Chicago stop!

November 16th, 2016 @ The Commodore, Vancouver, BC

Plintervals

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Animals As Leaders

[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”1018″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_thumbnails” override_thumbnail_settings=”0″ thumbnail_width=”175″ thumbnail_height=”175″ thumbnail_crop=”1″ images_per_page=”0″ number_of_columns=”0″ ajax_pagination=”1″ show_all_in_lightbox=”0″ use_imagebrowser_effect=”0″ show_slideshow_link=”0″ slideshow_link_text=”[Show as slideshow]” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]For more from this photographer, visit Brandon Klemets Photography on Facebook.

November 25th, 2016 @ Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL

Plintervals

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Animals As Leaders

[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”1021″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_thumbnails” override_thumbnail_settings=”0″ thumbnail_width=”175″ thumbnail_height=”175″ thumbnail_crop=”1″ images_per_page=”0″ number_of_columns=”0″ ajax_pagination=”1″ show_all_in_lightbox=”0″ use_imagebrowser_effect=”0″ show_slideshow_link=”0″ slideshow_link_text=”[Show as slideshow]” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]For more from this photographer, visit Kyle Gaddo on Flickr.

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Burdened by the dankness of his memes.