Glass Animals Bring “Dreamland” to St. Louis

After their breakout 2020, British band Glass Animals gave a stunning sold-out show at The Factory.

After their 2020 album “Dreamland” came out in the midst of the pandemic, many fans of Glass Animals were eager to hear the songs on tour. While many found the album to be likable at best, there was a consensus that these songs were going to come to life and the band’s vision for this album would become clearer once touring returned. Little did the fans and the band know that “Dreamland” would become bigger than they could have ever imagined. As the band’s profile grew, anticipation for the tour also grew and soon each stop would begin to sell out–including here, in St. Louis.

  When it came time for the concert on March 23, it became very clear that the event was sold-out. Upon arrival, there was a line stretching deep into the parking lot that led towards The Factory’s only entrance into the venue. While it was difficult to get into the venue for the opener, The Factory is a brand new venue that has not dealt with a sold-out event like this before. With another sold-out event at The Factory coming up–Olivia Rodrigo on April 20–this can easily be fixed by the time their next event comes, making this a one-time issue. 

  Inside the venue, fans were immediately greeted by a giant 90s-esque computer screen with a file titled “Glass Animals Showtime.exe” being saved on screen. While the “save time” was nondescript for most of the waiting period, a timer finally showed up once it came closer to showtime with the band coming out after the file had been properly saved. After coming onstage, neon decorations lit up the performance and lead singer Dave Bayley greeted the crowd, welcoming them to “Dreamland” and performing the song with the same title. The set oozed the modern-retro aesthetic of their third album, luminating the stage with fluorescent blues and pinks that offered a vaporwave-esque visual vibe.

  Once the first song had finished, a common theme for the night began to emerge: an unthinkably high energy from the crowd after every performance. The crowd in attendance was possibly the most energetic crowd I had ever seen, especially since concerts have returned from the pandemic hiatus, and this crowd was loving every second of the setlist. The songs performed were a healthy mix of everything from their three studio albums thus far— including live versions of past tracks such as their mashup of fan-favorite “Black Mambo” with the newer “Hot Sugar,”—all of which were met with excitement and love from the crowd. The setlist was incredibly well-paced, mixing the crowd-pleasing dance tunes in with fan-favorites and more laid-back tracks.

  The concert felt like an invitation to dance with the band and enjoy the time spent together again. As the setlist continued, the band became more noticeably shocked at how excited the St.Louis crowd was for their performance. Shortly after “Dreamland,” the band performed “Tangerine” and took a full minute before the final chorus to let the crowd cheer and build up excitement for the final moments of the song. Similar levels of excitement were built up and exceeded in songs later in the set; “Take a Slice” found the die-hard fans screaming every word and the string of “Gooey,” “Youth,” “Pork Soda” and encore-track “Tokyo Drifting” were all met with standing ovations as the night began to close out for the set.

  As the night wound down and the band thanked the crowd for the show, the instrumental for the record-breaking “Heat Waves” came on to close out the performance. The song’s laid-back instrumental still had the crowd feeling incredibly energetic, screaming every word of the band’s biggest hit to date. As the song ended, the band thanked the crowd once more and closed out the show. 

I thought back to the initial reception of “Dreamland” with fans saying these songs will come to life in a live music setting–and they were right. Everything this band performed was truly stunning, from start to finish putting on one of the most entertaining and energetic live shows I have seen in years. Glass Animals truly took the crowd to the “Dreamland” they envisioned.