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Animals as LeadersRockhal, Esch sur Alzette, Luxembourg
3rd June 2019
Animals as Leaders

ANIMALS AS LEADERS is an American Progressive band based out of Los Angeles, CA. The band is composed of guitarists Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes along with drummer Matt Garstka. Their unique musical style incorporates musical influences from Metal, Jazz, Electronic, Latin, Classical, and Fusion. In 2009 AAL released their self-titled debut album on Prosthetic Records which quickly launched them into being a trend-setting group in their genre worldwide. Since then the group has released two more albums, ‘Weightless’ and ‘The Joy of Motion’ which debuted at #23 in the Billboard Top 200. They just embarked on a 10th Anniversary Tour in 2019.

Music & Performance
When ANIMALS AS LEADERS entered the stage, the crowd couldn‘t wait to hear the technical wizardry they had to offer. They didn‘t wait long and immediately started playing their first song ‘Waves of babies’ which was released as a single back in 2010 and then later appeared on their 2015 album, ‘Animals as Leaders - Encore Edition’. Every single person in that room was mesmerized about the detailed and clear playing that all three members showed us. The technical aspect was surely mind blowing but the atmosphere was great from their backing tracks and own melodies they’ve made layered on top of everything.

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Then right after they started to play their second song ‘Tempting Time’ from their first album ‘Animals As Leaders’. The audience welcomed that song with loud cheers and head-bangs. The switches in the song were flawless and again they prove to us that their technical play is one of the best in the progressive scene. After that song the guitarist Tosin Abasi started talking to the crowd for the first time this evening and let them know that this is a tour celebrating their 10 year anniversary of the band and that they are very happy to play for their first time ever in Luxembourg. After his little speech they played another song ‘Thoroughly at Home’ which is also from their first self-titled album.

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Sonically ANIMALS AS LEADERS sounded very clear, Tosin Abasi’s funk driven guitar style, that was mostly done by fingers had a creamy tone. That could only be matches by Javier Reyes on the other side of the stage. You could almost feel like it was a friendly war of guitar solos between them but drummer Matt Garstka had his own show in the back with his detailed and flawless drum pattern. His drum solos and his mighty grooves were the most insane drum beats seen in a while. All in all the show was absolutely amazing and they are definitely band that you need to see at least once in your life to see their brilliant instrumental metal! The atmosphere was great, the crowd had a lot of energy just like the band and the sound was on point.

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01. Waves of Babies
02. Tempting Time
03. Thoroughly at Hone
04. Arithmophobia
05. Cognitive Contortions
06. Nephele
07. Price od Behaving badly
08. Braindance
09. Woven Web
10. Inner Assassins
11. Cafo
12. Physical Education

Music: 10
Performance: 9
Sound: 10
Light: 8
Total: 9.3 / 10

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All Pictures by Elena Arens

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