When I last saw Red Animal War, I thought the band was done. Original drummer Jeff Wilganoski was leaving the band to move to Florida to play with another band and there was no talk of a replacement. At the show, there was talk of various side projects, including Saboteur and the Numbers Twist, playing shows soon. That was the case for the rest of the year, leading me to believe that without Wilganoski, Red Animal War as a playing and recording unit was finished. Well, I was wrong as I saw them play at the Doublewide last night.
Though the line-up was different from the last show (Todd Harwell from the Numbers Twist/Flickerstick on drums and bassist Jeff "Meaningless" Davis was back on bass), it was still Red Animal War. Harwell did a fantastic job playing the older drum parts precisely and it was good to see Jeff on bass again. Promoting the new compilation of non-LP material, Seven Year War, a number of familiar favorites were played. Hearing these songs and seeing this show made me thankful that Justin and Matt have kept the band going all this time. I look forward to the next show (which I believe is sometime next month).
Earlier in the night was a pleasant surprise with opening band, Moonlight Towers. Playing to essentially me, various members and friends of Red Animal War and the bartenders, Moonlight Towers put on a really inspired set. Every song had an immediate, warm and poppy feel along with a laid-back country vibe. They weren't twangy; rather, they had the kind of jangly melodies that usually grab me right away. I got a copy of their record, Like You Were Never There, and am really impressed by it. A review written by your's truly may very well appear in this publication in a few months.
As I've brought up before, I make no bones about how much a fan I am of Red Animal War. They were the first band that inspired me to go out of my way and help them out however I could. I don't think there are words to describe this feeling, but I think the kind of actions give a better idea as to what it all means. After six years together and witnessing dozens of shows, I rarely get tired of their stuff. Though the band looked like it was done a few times before, they somehow managed to keep it all together. That's the kind of inspiration that doesn't only exist in playing in a band.