SPIRIT ANIMAL ROCKS OUT AT THE SAINT!
July 18, 2019
By Diane DiMemmo
No two words could more aptly describe the musical experience you’ll get when you go to a show by this band. Brooklyn, NY musicians Steve Cooper (Lead Vocals), Paul Michel (Bass, Vocals), Cal Stamp (Guitar, Vocals), and Ronen Evron (Percussion) are truly the personification of high-octane energy and innate musical instincts that define a really unique and exceptional sound. I’ve said in the past to “expect the unexpected” when you listen to their music, and it’s honestly what we all love about this band so much. They don’t fit into any one mold or genre. Their music can’t really be compared to any other band’s. Their sound is categorically ... well ... a “Spirit Animal signature sound.”
(If you’re unfamiliar with their music, just click the play button to the “Karma” audio below, and listen as you finish reading my awesome article about this awesome band.)
To be able to see Spirit Animal perform live at a venue as intimate as The Saint in Asbury Park, New Jersey was viewed as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to their dedicated fanbase, known affectionately as “Spanimals.” Why? Because we all wholeheartedly agree with fan Sal Aronica’s statement that, “this band is going to explode.” When covering a show, I pay almost as much attention to the fans as I do the band because I’m fascinated by the effect musicians have on their audience. This was my fifth time covering the guys and I noticed a huge change in the fans’ reactions since the first time I saw them. Most knew every word to every song and proudly sang along all night! (Guilty.) Many sported the cool “banana f’in cream” colored merch and the rest were buying. (Not familiar with that color? Follow the band.) And most noticeable was the adoration in the crowd’s eyes for this band. THEY ARE LOVED. And they repeatedly tell their fans that they love them back. (Genuinely.)
The evening’s setlist was packed with all of their hits (plus their brand-new single “HYDR8”) and the group went full throttle from the first song to the last. When I say “full throttle” I’m referring to the energy the guys expend while playing, which was impressive due to the day’s sauna-like weather that seeped into the venue. (Yeah, we were all dripping by the end of the night!) Nobody plays bass like Paul who strikes amazing poses and jumps all over the stage while pumping out funky-rock runs. Cal swivels and dances on the other side of the stage while rocking his guitar riffs and rhythms. Steve is so experimental with his vocal styles which puts the band on another plane – rap, syncopation, funk, rock, and pop melodies; he does it all! And Ronen is the perfect drummer to lay the foundation for all that’s going on musically. He adapts, drives, and innovates with his playing to round off the band’s amazing sound.
Brand New Spirit Animal Song: HYDR8
[Video: Courtesy of Pam DeStefano]