Ice cream, craft beer, and live music are like the holy trinity for New Yorkers in the summertime. All those who strolled over to SummerStage this weekend were duly blessed. Especially so with a performance from the UK’s Glass Animals, which seemed to bottle up the Central Park sunshine and pour it back out onto the languid crowd.
It wouldn’t be a day in the park without some kind of a dance-off going on. Warming up the stage on Sunday were Brooklyn’s BattleFest League Dancers, who broke more than a few rules of physics as they flipped and contorted with incredible style and flexibility.
Next up was Brooklyn-based DJ Taylor McFerrin, who started off with some ultra-clean beatboxing that had everyone leaning in. He and drummer Marcus Gilmore played a few hits before sinking into an afternoon of ambient jazz improv, the perfect choice for a chill Sunday.
Somewhere within a massive gush from the smoke machines, Glass Animals took the stage. The English indie rockers, who are as dreamy as their music, soothed the spectators with silky hits like “Psylla,” “Gooey,” and “Walla Walla.” Closely connected, they broke the boundaries of their setup until they were literally cheek to cheek with each other.
At the same time, the fog took on a life of its own throughout the park, sneaking between dancing bodies and snuggling around sunbaked shoulders. As if a giant gumball machine had just eaten up 25 cents, beach balls of green, gold, red, and purple poured all over the crowd. Glass Animals also supplied some inflatable animals, sending zebras, monkeys, and octopi bouncing out to the beat.
Long after the show and far from the park, we saw someone trying to squeeze one of those huge gold beach balls through a subway turnstile. Could there be a cuter visual for not wanting summer to end? Whether or not you scored a beach ball (and managed to squish it into your 6th-floor walkup), Glass Animals let us all take a bit of summer home with us on Sunday.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Shayne Hanley