Photos by Abigail Sherrod Sykes
Folks trickled in on a very cold Wednesday evening for Post Animal's openers, Shane T and Illiterate Light. Nashville-based Shane T, accompanied by bassist Taylor Cotton and drummer Matt Martin, gave a cohesive performance, with a fuller setlist than one might expect from an artist who has only released one single since going solo. A graduate of the Music Business Program at UGA and former frontman of Athens band Son & Thief, Shane gave a shoutout to the Georgia Theatre, where he interned before graduating.
Between his unique, high-timbred, Dylan-esque singing voice, introspective lyrics, full, somewhat poppy sound and touches of atmospheric instrumentation, Shane T's sound lands somewhere between Beach House and The National. He closed on his latest (and currently only) single, "Wasting Time," which had audience members grooving and is definitely worth a listen.
The second opener, Harrisonburg, VA-based alt-rock duo Illiterate Light, features guitarist Jeff Gorman and drummer Jake Cochran. Their intense energy was immediately palpable. Cochran was almost constantly playing, often singing and very much as equal a part in the overall sound as Gorman, whose gritty guitar playing was much in the style of Jack White.
Illiterate Light held the attention of the crowd through their combo of fiery guitar, high energy and Gorman's unique voice, which might be more organically fitting for a folky, Lumineers-style band, but which gave the group's sound an original edge.
A mid-sized but eager crowd made its way in by the time Post Animal was set to play. The Chicago band, which received an extra boost of fame after one of its founding members, Joe Keery, made a splash in "Stranger Things," has been touring up and down the East Coast for several years. The current touring group consists of Dalton Allison on bass, Jake Hirshland on guitar and keyboard, Javi Reyes on guitar, Wesley Toledo on drums and Matt Williams on guitar, all of whom take turns singing.
With lots of guitars and lots of hair, Post Animal filled the stage physically and sonically. The psychedelic rock group maintains much of the authenticity of the genre's roots, often calling to mind Jefferson Airplane, psych-era Beatles and other such late-'60s/early-'70s psych-rock originators.
However, there were often touches of harder rock, and the crowd enthusiastically sent back the energy Post Animal dished out, with much headbanging and singing along. Besides the encore feeling a little contrived and less than called for by the crowd, Post Animal's performance was well worth venturing out into the cold for.