The asphalt was slick with rain when Post Animal’s trailer pulled up to the back of Park Theatre this past Saturday night. Parking lot lights lit a yellow glow over the reflective pavement, and the confusing Michigan weather greeted the band with a wet pat on the shoulder as they stepped out of their van. Post Animal’s Dec. 1 show, sponsored by Hope College Concert Series, was their second time back to Holland. Their first trip was opening up for HCCS’ Twin Peaks show about two years ago. The Hope community welcomed Post Animal back with a open arms, as building continual relationships with artists is part of what the Hope College Concert Series is all about. The Chicago-native band has skyrocketed in popularity since we last saw them at Hope, however.
With millions of Spotify streams, nearly 30,000 Instagram followers and slots on impressive bills alongside acts like Local Natives and Real Estate, the psychedelic garage– rock group has been taking over their scene. Opening up for Post Animal’s show was Grand Rapids-based band Major Murphy. In true West Michigan style, the trio smiled and nodded all the way through their set. With drums placed front and center, Major Murphy’s setup was refreshingly unique for the often repetitive rock–pop genre of tunes. The band was the perfect sonic fit for the bill, as their sound set the scene just right for Post Animal. Even Major Murphy’s t-shirts complimented Post Animal’s merch designs–could the musical stars have aligned any better?! Once Major Murphy stepped offstage, Post Animal shook Park Theatre with dueling electric guitars, intense drum fills and surprising vocal effects.
Between jams and tunes, the band interacted with the crowd like they were sipping soda on the couch. Their relaxed vibe and just-rolled-out-of-bed style silenced the audience, which is a rare feat at a rock show. The band played songs that spanned from their earliest EP to their latest album, leaving a taste of everything on the lips of the concert-goers who proudly sang every word. In the place of an encore, Post Animal did a talkback Q&A session with the Hope College Concert Series’ co-director Gabby Barber (‘19) and core member Arend Buitenhuis (‘20). The two team members asked the band questions about their songwriting process, favorite moments on tour and musical inspirations. Towards the end of the talkback, Post Animal opened up questions to the crowd.
One audience member asked for advice on how to take their own band on tour. “Play as much as you possibly can, and don’t be bashful,” Post Animal replied. With a little advice, a little inspiration and a whole lot of rock n’ roll, Post Animal’s headliner was the perfect way to kick off December and forget about exams for a minute. “Rock and unite! Rock and unite!” they chanted as the night tapered to a close. Take your next study break with Hope College Concert Series this Friday, Dec. 7, for The Japanese House’s headlining show at the Park Theatre. Make sure to stay up to date with the series on social media over winter break, too, as they’re announcing spring headliners featuring acts like Gungor, The Brilliance and Mothers.