Chicago psych-rockers Post Animal have taken off at a warp speed. After breaking into the city’s music scene opening for The Orwells last August, Post Animal has continued to cultivate a devoted set of listeners through their high degree of melodic intricacy and ability to put on wildly energetic live performances. They officially transcended the title of “opening act” when they headlined an ACLU benefit concert with other notable local acts, including The Evening Attraction.
The most intriguing aspect of Post Animal’s live performances is their innate ability to incite sheer pandemonium. The evening’s performance was held at Subterranean, a delightful albeit very small venue, but that didn’t stop audience members from crowd surfing, moshing, and -at times- flinging themselves over staircases into the crowd below.
Post Animal’s music isn’t particularly the kind that one would think would incite such a reaction. In fact, a majority of the songs in their existing discography are psychedelic and ethereal – not the “Black Flag” type of music one would traditionally associate with rowdy crowds. The beauty in this manifesting, however, is that the reaction from the audience is largely fed off of the band’s energy. The band performs their longer, iridescent works as if they were two-minute punk headbangers -with full physical and emotional engagement. Their commitment to inserting their own individualized kinetic energy into their live performances truly makes their work come alive for listeners in a way it wouldn’t had they just stood and strummed their guitars.
While all the members of Post Animal possess high degrees of musical skill, guitarist and vocalist Javier Reyes has undeniably come into his own as a live performer within the eleven months the band has begun to regularly perform locally. Initially standing off to the side and doing little more than nodding his head at the band’s unofficial debut performance with The Orwells last August, Reyes now exudes his own kind of dynamite onstage. Standing center stage and often cheering into the microphone in between songs, he has truly evolved and come into his own as a performer. Taking over lead vocals from Post Animal member Joe Keery (who no longer regularly performs with the band due to his role on Netflix hit “Stranger Things”) on the band’s infamous yet unreleased closer, “Dirt Picker,” Reyes displays clear vocal talent and indisputable competency as a performer in his own right.
The most delightful aspect of Post Animal’s live performances is that the overwhelming frenzied energy that existed in Subterranean that night is not a singular occurrence; it materializes at all of Post Animal’s live performances. Evidently, their music has its own indistinguishable “it factor” that cannot help but intrinsically move all who witness them performing live – a hallmark of a truly inventive group of artists.