At almost every concert you go to, there’s a sort of unspoken bond amongst audience members; a mutual love of music and an interest in the particular band performing that can take strangers, put them into a cramped room, and turn them into friends by the end of the night. At Post Animal’s album release show on Friday night, the room buzzed with an electrifying sense of camaraderie from the second the doors to Lincoln Hall opened. For many in the audience, they had already formed friendships with one another, due to the supportive nature of the Chicago music scene, and the show that would follow would only bring that community even closer.
Like most Chicago bands that have begun to garner attention nationally, and even internationally, during the last couple of years, Post Animal got their start playing DIY shows in basements and gritty locations around the city before eventually working their way up to headlining slots at the likes of The Hideout, The Empty Bottle, and The Subterranean. Headlining a sold out show at Lincoln Hall sits towards the top of many bands’ bucket lists in the city, so when Post Animal made their way up to checking this feat off their list, they made sure to put together a special show for the 500 lucky audience members that scored tickets to the gig.
First, they had some of the freshest local (and soon-to-be local) talent warm up the stage for them, with Rookie kicking off the night. Although they’re a new project and just released a debut single last week, Chicago music scene veterans Joe Bordenaro and Max Loebman act as the group’s leaders, working together on new music and revamping music from their past projects. Their experience of playing music for years in other projects gives them a commanding stage presence and sense of chemistry as bandmates that you rarely see in a new band. By the time Rookie’s set had finished, most of the room had already filled in, and anyone who had started the night unaware of Rookie had quickly been converted to a new fan after witnessing their live show.
Next up, Slow Pulp mesmerized the packed house with their dreamy mix of psychedelic, pop, and punk tones for the next 45 minutes. Hailing from Madison, Slow Pulp will soon be making a permanent move down to Chicago, and the audience response on Friday confirmed that they will be welcomed with open arms once they make the move later this year. The crowd gave the band their undivided attention as they played through songs from their self-produced and released EP2, which is actually the band’s first release since the addition of lead singer Emily Massey. The audience sang along with Massey throughout the show, especially during “Preoccupied,” which has stacked up close to 200,000 streams on Spotify.
Eventually the time came for Post Animal to hit the stage, and the current of energy that had been surging through the venue was further intensified when the opening riffs of “Gelatin Mode” rang out into the room. Although they’ve been playing the song live for months, the band had only recently released the track as a single with an accompanying, must-watch music video, and it acted as the perfect kickstart to the rowdy evening that would follow. Of course, no Post Animal show would be complete without a little (or a lot of) crowd surfing and moshing, and “Gelatin Mode” set the tone for a wild night when the crowd immediately started thrashing around to the fast-paced song.
Another new single from When I Think Of You In A Castle, “Tire Eyes,” followed, only slightly slowing down the pace. The exuberance of the crowd remained intact however, never wavering as the setlist weaved between songs featuring in-your-face guitar solos, like “Special Moment” and “Victory Lap: Danger Zone,” and more mellow, winding psychedelic-tinged tracks like “Castle.” The band did a great job of strategically plotting the placement of each song in the setlist, allowing for the audience fully appreciate the diverse texture and sonic diversity of not only their newest material, but some old favorites from their first two EPs. To assist with the flow of the set, the band even worked out more elaborate and refreshed transitions between songs, adding another layer to the new songs that fans can’t experience from just listening to the record.
After playing through the majority of When I Think Of You In A Castle and staples like “Alabaster” and “You Were Not There” from their earlier catalog, Post Animal closed the first part of their set with their viral track “When I Get Home,” which has always proved to be a crowd favorite with its grooving bass line and sweeping melody. At this point in the night, the room was overflowing with positive vibes, and the crowd had already been potentially the rowdiest that the Lincoln Park concert hall has ever hosted, but things only got crazier during the encore.
Cadien Lake James from Twin Peaks first took the stage with a bottle of champagne in hand to get the audience hyped for Post Animal’s return, further demonstrating the supportive nature of the city’s music scene. After the warm introduction, the band eased the audience into the final part of their set by kicking things off with “Goggles” from their 2015 EP Post Animal Perform The Most Curious Water Activities, but when they transitioned into “Dirtpicker,” it was no holds barred for the remainder of the show. The song anchors out their new album, but it has been the hype song of their live show for a while now, always riling up the crowd with its infectiously catchy riffs. The amiable spirits of the crowd peaked during this last song as everyone exerted their final ounces of energy, working to lift each other up to crowd surf or have one last go at moshing.
By the time Post Animal walked offstage on Friday night, it was clear to everyone in the crowd that they had just witnessed a very special moment (pun intended) and while this show marked a landmark achievement for the band, it’s truly only the beginning for them. You can catch Post Animal on a headlining national tour throughout the summer, with select shows featuring Slow Pulp or fellow Chicagoans Paul Cherry and Town Criers. The summer tour includes appearances at legendary festivals like Shaky Knees, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza (Chicago, catch them at Lolla on Friday, August 3rd). See the rest of their tour dates here, and snag a copy of When I Think Of You In A Castle here.
More photos of Rookie, Slow Pulp, and Post Animal at Lincoln Hall on April 27th, 2018
This article was originally posted on ANCHR Magazine