Ceramic Animal @ World Café Live

Those who braved the rain and came out to see Ceramic Animal’s Philly show last Saturday were slowly energized by the band’s two opening acts, Sixteen Jackies and Dr Danny. The atmospheric rock of Sixteen Jackies prepares the audience members for the slow, psychedelic influences of Ceramic Animal’s sound, and Dr Danny brings them back to an earlier time with his 60s-influenced sensual crooning. The intimate setting gives way to a busier, more enthusiastic crowd as the band takes stage in their pressed red suits, a look that hints at the decadence of their sound. The Philly-based band is composed of brothers Warner, Elliott, and Erik Regan, as well as bassist Dallas Hosey. They released their debut album, The Cart, in 2016. Since then, the boys have gained a global listenership, their mix of a classic and psychedelic vibe reaching audiences as far as Santiago, Chile.

Suited up on stage, the band plays a new song, “So Familiar,” from their upcoming second album, to a swaying audience caught up in the beachy-cool, yet crisp track. Lead vocalist Warren sings words evocative of the concert itself: “I’ve had this feeling for a long, long time…” Appropriately, Ceramic Animal’s music is nostalgic in the sense that it reminds you of times past, while its innovative traces prove refreshing.

“Against the Wall,” a rich, slow-dancing track, gathers a few shouts from the audience, and Warren tells the crowd that they have a few songs left for the night. Perhaps responding to a troubled fan, he assures them it’s a good thing—“I could’ve said we had one more…” It seems like brothers who play together, stay together. The audience absorbs the infectious chemistry of the band members, shouting the names of their favorites as the mutual enthusiasm grows.  

“Mistakes” proves to be a crowd favorite—the sweeping track is worthy of the final stretch of a cross-country road trip and reminds you of warm-weathered days. Alternating colors tie-dye the audience and they are caught in the moment, some fans jamming out inches away from the boys and others nestled in the darkness, enjoying a drink in the upper levels. You can tell that Ceramic Animal has a lovingly diverse Philly fan-base: concert-goers range from groups of friends and students to lone fans looking for a Saturday wind-down. After the band plays their final song, “Dreams Via Memories,” the fans insist they return for another.  

The band accepts, and they stride onto stage to play one more song from the next album. The track welcomes the perfect mood to end the night with, a dance-worthy or head-bopping tune sure to get you out of bed in the morning. It’s a hazy song worthy of energetic summer days, with a hint of optimism that has you looking to the future even as Ceramic Animal finds inspiration from the past.

Photos by Abi Raymaker, www.abiraymaker.com

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