As the first week of classes came to a close, Gustavus students awaited the first outdoor concert of the year: Half the Animal.
The band’s first and only EP, ‘SHAPES’, introduced them to the campus as an alternative pop rock genre with songs “Babylon” and “Saturday Night.”
The quartet also introduced new music, including the song “Bad Love” and did covers of other popular songs.
“A cool thing they did was incorporate covers of popular songs like “Sex On Fire” by Kings of Leon and “Redbone” by Childish Gambino,” a student who attended the concert said.
Many students had never heard of the band but surely won’t forget the name after their memorable performance in the Eckman Mall on Friday Night.
“I didn’t know anything about them going into it but immediately I enjoyed it and went home and looked them up and listened to their music,” one student, who had never heard of the band said.
“I liked them a lot,” first-year student Stella Hadjiyanis said. “I thought it would be a fun way to start off our first weekend here at GAC.”
This has been the popular opinion among the 200-250 students who attended, deeming this concert a huge success according to the Campus Activities Board.
C.A.B was thrilled with how the concert went, but getting the band here took months of planning and communicating.
They spent “a number of weeks working with [the band’s] manager and agent in negotiating and solidifying the details,” a member of the board said.
They thoroughly go through the process from start to finish to make sure they have “every little detail in place.”
The band and the Gusties enjoyed meeting and talking with one another after the energizing performance.
The band itself originated in Laguna Beach, California where lead singer Chase Johnson and drummer Nick Gross met as kids and created the band Open Air Studio, which eventually premiered on the MTV series, Laguna Beach.
Soon, bassist Evan Smith and guitarist Dan Graham joined and completed the sound. They have performed together at college campuses, as well as shows in LA such as Emo Night, School Night, and Sayer’s Club.
They also played at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles last April, a venue that has also housed Foo Fighters and Bob Dylan. Their performance at the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) was what eventually brought them to the Gustavus campus.
They “instantly thought they had a great sound and energy that Gustavus students would love…we knew we wanted to bring them to the campus,” Connor Myhre, co-president of the activities board, said.
He says the feedback coming from Gusties confirmed their thoughts: “From every angle, students were enjoying themselves and getting into the music.”
The quartet’s constant publicity and positive reviews have allowed them to complete their goals.
“[Our goal is] getting our product out into the market and touring our faces off,” said in The Prelude Press.
They look forward to keeping a constant flow of new music for their listeners and getting their name out into the world.
The musicians like to think of their music as colorful and each song as shaped differently from one another.
In the same interview, they stated, “All of the songs have their own attitude and own feel to them, but are still completely Half the Animal… Babylon is our single, and it has this really anthemic feel to it while Saturday Night is a really rad four on the floor dance track that just makes you feel good. We’re loving exploring the diversity of what the group can actually be right now, but always making sure to stay in our lane at the same time.”
The group is new but also passionate about their music composition. They have written all of their songs with meaning, and they all connect while writing and performing.
“We chose “Babylon” to be our single because it fits the overall vision for the band and where Half the Animal is going the best. It means a lot to us. It was the first song we wrote when we got back into the studio to start a new band,” said in The Prelude Press.
Their first single, along with other popular tunes like “Saturday Night,” link the band together in a bond of music making and exciting energy. Not only is the music for their listeners, it is also for them to share their experiences together and not get lost along the way.