Seven is a significant number, representing fullness, completeness, with numerous religious implications. It is also the number associated with the experience of Avey Tare and his newest venture, 7.
The name Avey Tare probably doesn’t ring a bell unless you’re an avid listener of Animal Collective. The band is renowned for their unique style and projects like Merriweather Post Pavilion and Feels consists of 4 members– Avery Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin, & Geologist. Being the only member a part of every Animal Collective project, Avey Tare has heavily influenced the direction of each project, blurring the lines between if a project is a solo project or truly a collective one.
On tour for his newest project, 7s, he brings out demos collected from the pandemic whilst working on Animal Collective’s latest album Time Skiffs. Before we even meet him, we see what looks like a shrine of sevens as the set design, topped off with two alligators on each side of it.
After we settled in, we were greeted with the opener casually walking onto the stage to set up her equipment. Maral, an LA-based artist, focuses her production on the interplay between her culture and music. As an Iranian singer-songwriter, she weaves in Iranian fold field recordings with distorted tracks. A projector screen came down from the stage as she got ready to play. She was dimly lit by purple lights, distorting what she looked like. For the next forty-five minutes we were immersed in the fever dream she illustrated.
Her visuals were just as vital to the music as the music itself. Wondering how these graphics were even envisioned, I watched, eyes glued to the screen as we were shown depictions of glitchy video game graphics, psychedelic patterns, and even some familiar faces like Sonic. There were glimpses of what seemed to be Iranian news clippings with the brightness fully up, obscuring the footage. Maral finishes with a round of applause from the audience, who seemed to welcome the distinctive sound she had crafted.
Not long after, Avey strolled on stage with an electric guitar in hand and the event began with “The Musical”, a song that analogizes a person experiencing love to a musical (hence the name).
Through the set, it felt as though I watched a child show off their toys– the instruments, the sounds he made, and the attention of the audience–contributed to this experience. He wielded his voice like an instrument, creating different noises ranging from mumbles to screams. Avey never seemed to grow tired of the novelty of creating genre-bending pieces.
We were introduced to songs off previous projects as well, such as the popular “Saturdays (Again)” from his album Cows on Hourglass Pond. One of the shorter songs off the setlist, clocking in at just barely short of 4:49, Avey is covered in pink lighting as he sings, repeating the word “completeness” as the song comes to an end.
Though the show could’ve ended there, Avey wasn’t finished. While many strive to break away from their bands as they pursue solo careers, Avey holds Animal Collective near and dear. Recognizing the anniversary of the band’s first album, Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished, Avey closes out with one of its songs, “Chocolate Girl.” We are given a hymn about childhood and slowly losing innocence, a theme prominent in both the work of Avey Tare and Animal Collective.
After the concert, I researched the final setlist. It so happened that the hour and a half set was only seven songs. With his passion exemplified through his screaming, tinkering, and personality, I truly do believe the concert gave me a sense of completeness. My only wish is to relieve this Saturday (Again!)