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Concert review: Spirit Animal at Lola’s Saloon

Spirit Animal

Thursday, November 21

Lola’s Saloon

2736 West 6th St., Fort Worth


Posted 12:18pm on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013

With Thanksgiving approaching, I feel thankful I live in a city with such a vibrant music scene. Any night of the week you can find a great band playing, and Thursday I braved the bad weather and headed up to Lola’s to see this in action.

I arrived just as the storm passed, and found the Frisky Disco setting up on stage. I’ve been following these guys for a couple of years now and they get better with every show. They are energy personified, and I’ve yet to see them do a bad set. There may have been only a dozen people in the room, but they played it like it was a packed house.

Given that there are a finite number of words to make band names from, there is bound to be some similarities and repetition. I’ve seen several shows with local bands Animal Spirit and the Frisky Disco, and indeed these are two of my favorite local bands, so when I saw that Thursday’s bill at Lola’s had the Frisky Disco and Spirit Animal, I assumed it was a typo. It wasn’t.

Spirit Animal is a rock ’n’ roll outfit out of Brooklyn, N.Y., that consists of Steve Cooper (vocals, keyboard), Ronen Evron (drums), Paul Michel (bass) and Cal Stamp (guitar).

“They’re entertaining as hell,” said Sam Anderson of Quaker City Night Hawks. “There’s so much going on. I love it.”

Sonically, these guys are great. There’s some first-rate rock and funk happening at a Spirit Animal show. The bass is gritty and the vocals are powerful (although I wish they would drop the occasional falsetto). The band is tight and polished. Stamp puts out a tasteful lead, but this thing is driven by the bass and by Cooper’s larger-than-life persona.

But the stage show is a major part of the experience here. Frontman Cooper is all over the place, jumping, dancing, bouncing around and mugging for the crowd. You could be deaf and still enjoy the spectacle of a Spirit Animal show.

Be sure to check these guys out at www.spiritanimal.us, and since they have an affinity for playing Funkytown shows, you’ll probably get another chance to see them in the not-too-distant future. You don’t want to miss it.

It’s important in this season to reflect on the things we can be thankful for, because nothing lasts forever. This week we saw the last performance of Travis “Tripp” Mathis, as he moves out west to Abilene. Tripp has been an integral part of our sonic landscape for some time now, and will be missed. Likewise, Josh Weathers Band will be having its farewell concert at Billy Bob’s on Jan. 31. I’m thankful I got the chance to hear both these acts many times over the past few years, and I wish them both the best.

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