Not a showgoer was stirring; the weather just wasn’t for the faint…
In all seriousness, it was a bitterly cold night when Brooklyn’s Spirit Animal graced the stage of Asbury Park, New Jersey’s The Saint.
A four-piece outfit, the band combines catchy riffs, groovy bass, and simple beats with charismatic vocals. Depending on the track, the guys are slightly reminiscent of a pop-infused Weezer or The Black Keys. Their live sound masterfully walks the line between raw and chill; and it is the perfect soundtrack for those moments when you are wearing flannel in a dive bar with a cold brew in your hands.
Thus, it was a great match for The Saint, with its intimate stage, dark lighting, and walls plastered in band stickers. It packs the atmosphere of a garage show with the convenience of a full-service bar. While a late night at work unfortunately meant a missed opener, Spirit Animal’s direct support—Nico Yaryan—warmed the room with his mellow, bluesy set. “Old Gloria” stood out particularly strong, as Yaryan’s vocals filled the room with a sense of overwhelming angst and longing for what felt like a long lost love.
Spirit Animal was undeterred by the weather once it was their turn to take the stage, and unleashed a torrent of songs both old and new to the handful of showgoers in attendance. Vocalist, Steve Cooper’s unbridled energy stole the show. One minute, he was jumping up and down to punctuate each riff and the next, playing the moog and moving his legs in what can best be described as a velociraptor-like manner. (It sounds odd, but I swear it makes sense when you see it.)
Bassist, Paul Michel’s nonchalant energy and endless swaying to-and-fro played off Cooper quite well. Honestly, it was entertaining to see a bassist getting into the performance so organically. Plus, he had the best sweater of the night.
The set ended on a festive note with the band’s current single, “Come to Christmas” (watch the video below). And, if I had one complaint for the night, it would be that their set ended too soon.
Given Spirit Animal’s demonstrable talent and their ability to appeal to a wide audience, it is clear that the band has the potential to make it big. In fact, it would be more surprising if they didn’t.
Want to know more about Spirit Animal? Catch them on tour (upcoming dates below), stream their new EP, World War IV, or catch them at the following links!