Animal Collective, 10:20 PM, The Mann by JONATHAN VALANIA

INQUIRER: Nowadays it’s not easy being Animal Collective. After more than a decade of fortuitous left turns and deft reinventions, the Baltimore-born quartet has entered that paradoxical Twilight Zone where their audience expects the unexpected – but isn’t necessarily thrilled when it comes. Their new album Centipede Hz is a clangorous volte-face inward from 2009’s unseasonably warm and welcoming Merriweather Post Pavilion. Given the experimental troupe’s reputation for seldom looking back, their Hz-heavy set list at the Mann Center on Wednesday was equally unsurprising – as was the cavernous venue’s wide rash of vacant seats. What did surprise, however, was just what a tight and muscular live act they have become. Touring for Merriweather as a trio of sound designers manning a panoply of sonic circuitry, the psychedelic explorers burnished their reputation as a jam band for the Pitchfork set. MORE