It’s Saturday afternoon in the parking lot at Merriweather Post Pavilion and you can almost hear the Frisbees slice through the humidity. In three hours, the experimental pop group Animal Collective will finally perform at the venue it named its stunning, critically adored 2009 album after. Right now, it’s hazy and it’s hot and everyone’s face paint is already starting to smudge.
If tie-dye symbolized some expanded, psychedelic boomer consciousness, face paint represents 21st-century digital-age confusion. It’s both a day-glo war paint against normalcy and a nostalgia trip to the innocence of childhood — rebellion and regression, two threads inextricably intertwined in Animal Collective’s music.