Words and Photos by: Alfredo Luna
To celebrate the release of their new album Love Gibberish, Post Animal stopped by the Lodge Room in Highland Park and gave an out of this world experience packed with a ton of emotion. Since the album had just dropped the same day I gave it a listen on the way to the venue and was already set in a trance by the hypnotic vibes that the album was giving off. By the time I got to the venue I had given the album a full listen through and was as hyped as everyone to experience an album release, which in itself is already special, but somehow Post Animal is able to make it even more than that.
Even as I walked up the stairs into the venue you could just feel like the vibe was shifting, and by the time opener Caroline Kingsbury came on, the journey into a different plane of existence began to materialize. Making an appearance with a look that was very much an amalgamation of Surfbort meets Retro-Futuristic Flintstones, and that is said with utmost love and respect. Captivating the audience just with her look, Kingsbury was able to swoon the crowd and deliver an intimate journey throughout her set. Giving the crowd details on the significance of songs throughout the set, the crowd was thoroughly invested in whatever she had to say. But more so than her stories told between songs we were all soaking in the heartfelt songs and ethereal vibes that her and the band were putting out. Most songs were able to sweep you off of your feet and take you for a ride, telling the story of love, loss and yearning and I just could not get enough of it. Personal highlights included the very new wave feel of “Heaven’s Just a Flight ” and “16” that transport you into feeling nostalgic for an era you never lived in. With its melody feeling more like a modern day Tiffany with a touch of antiquation, it was a perfect song to really make the crowd the biggest Kingsbury fans at that moment in time. The whole set drew comparisons from many in the crowd to different figures from the 80’s such as a “Robert Smith-esque ” performance, or a set that was grabbed straight from Cruel World. Kingsbury set the stage for Post Animal to come back and continue to take the crowd on the rest of the journey for the night.
As the dust settled, you could see the crowd beginning to fill in, stirring anxiously waiting for Post Animal to come out. What I enjoyed the most was hearing murmurs around the room discussing the new album, their personal favs and what they’re excited to hear live which amplified the anxiousness and excitement in the crowd. As the seconds wound down all attention was center stage on the band walking on, taking their time to set up and began with the chillness that is “Bolt from Above” off of their new album. It was a perfect start to the set to get the crowd into a groove and entrenched into the experience. As they ripped into the second piece of their set they began to howl in an homage to the film The Northman and it was almost fitting as the music and the energy felt very raw and primal and there were a ton of parallels that I felt watching this set and watching the movie. As I was stuck on this thought they ripped into the song “Gelatin Mode” that seemed to grab your mind and throw it into a different dimension with the way it melts back and forth from a slow grueling head banger to a face-melting psych anthem. It was at this moment you could see the crowd all in their own little world whether they’re grooving or ready to open up the pit bringing out the best of both worlds in that regard. And like a switch this created a raucous atmosphere that permeated throughout the night, looking back and seeing the crowd take it in the new single “Cancer Moon” with its sweet and stylish poppier sound. In a change of pace the band belted out the classic “When I Get Home” that lit the fuse in the crowd to go wild. This song itself was able to catch so many emotions from the crowd from the elicited gasps of excitement, to the people just breaking out into an elated dance, to the people just raging in the pit. Drifting into and out of the sound that was emanating from the band, it felt mellow enough just to let you mind wander into another stream of consciousness while also hooking you back when it got heavy enough to become part of the frenzy in the crowd. This was especially true as the show wound down with “No More Sports” and “Dirtpicker” these songs were just dirty sounding guitars blasting throughout to end the night with a bang.
To say that we were all blown away by Post Animal is a huge understatement, they are definitely an exciting band to check out especially as they continue to tour their new album. Their shows are truly an out of body experience that make you slip into different levels of sentience where you can feel the music run through your body and unleash at the right moment. I’d also definitely recommend Caroline Kingsbury as well, who was able to deliver a very unique New Wave performance that will be gracing NYC’s Berlin for a 3 night residency in June. I will be keeping my eyes peeled whenever either of these artists come to town because it is absolutely something you shouldn’t miss!