On Feb. 2, I spent the evening in Chicago at the Bottom Lounge watching some of my favorite bands perform, and it was truly a night to remember. Having seen both Dorothy and Spirit Animal before, I couldn’t wait to see how amazing those two bands were touring together. Given their individual sounds, it certainly seemed like an odd pairing at first, but I can assure you, their show was nothing less than incredible.
Rock band Dorothy gave a purely magical performance. The singer and namesake of the band, Dorothy Martin, put on a show as only she knows how to do. The moment she walks on stage, fog surrounds her and the lights stay dark as she burns (what I have always assumed to be) a bundle of sage, doing what some may know as “smudging.”
However, make no mistake -- Martin was there to sing just as much as the rest of Dorothy was there to play loud, bluesy rock and roll. Guitarists Nick Perri and Eli Wulfmeier took turns battling it out with epic solos, while Martin’s rough, beautiful vocals truly just entranced everyone in the room. Drummer Jason Ganberg and bassist Eliot Lorango shined as the driving force beneath the chaotic rock and roll sound.
Dorothy is the revival of classic rock that many people my age need. Though I grew up loving artists that I’m sure Dorothy gets compared to all the time, this band is incredibly unique and puts on a great live show. Dorothy herself is honestly one of my biggest role models as well.
Although I must admit, I was really there to see a band quite near and dear to my heart: Spirit Animal. I had the honor of seeing their show in Fort Wayne with The Struts last year, which was what some may remember as the show where I was lucky enough to dance on stage with The Struts. I spent a lot of time hanging out with Spirit Animal after all of the fun was over, and they were some of the nicest, funniest guys I had ever met.
Fast forward to this concert and I could not wait to see them again. Trust me when I say you truly should not miss any performance of Spirit Animal’s if you can make it out to experience them live. Lead singer Steve Cooper is the most energetic, humorous singer I’ve seen to date. He is all about keeping the fans entertained while making songs fun and easy to sing along to. Not to mention, his moves are iconic in every sense of the word.
I also love seeing bassist Paul Michel perform because he is just as unstoppable when it comes to incredible dancing and getting into the groove of the music. He’s got his signature playing style, and I must say, it’s one of my favorite parts of their show. Guitarist Cal Stamp and drummer Ronen Evron round out the Spirit Animal roster with Stamp’s killer solos and Evron’s funk-influenced beats.
I love Spirit Animal and their performance so much, not only because of their high energy and powerful music, but also because their lyrics are so relatable. They’re the kind of humble, yet snarky lyrics you can sing at the top of your lungs. Their melodies are beyond catchy, and I’m confident that you can’t walk away from a show without having their music in your head for the rest of the night. As much as I love Dorothy, Spirit Animal really did steal the show for me.
Not only that, but Spirit Animal has a great reputation for spending time with fans at the merch booth, something I really treasure in a culture where it can feel so impossible to interact with artists you love as though you’re friends, not celebrity and fan.
All in all, this concert was incredible. All the artists were all amazing in their own ways, and I can’t wait to see them each in concert again soon. If you’re interested in checking out their music, you can listen to Spirit Animal’s “Born Yesterday” and Dorothy’s “28 Days in the Valley.”
The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.