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Secret Spirit is a melodic punk band from Manchester, N.H. that I discovered because I missed them at FEST 18. When I saw the photos later, I realized I’d fucked up. In February I saw they’d be playing DC with Kill Lincoln and I knew I had to go. It was obvious to me immediately why I’d liked the FEST photos so much. Secret Spirit have that loud, fast, boisterous energy that fuels unrestrained crowd engagement. FEST fans eat that shit up. That kind of connection to the music and live performance, where it’s difficult to discern where the performance stops and I begin, is the lifeblood of that community. It’s what we crave and what keeps us coming back.
It’s impossible not to shout along to songs like “Feel Good.” You find yourself unable to resist joining a chorus of voices chanting “I just wanna feel good!” surrounded by sweaty friends and strangers alike, knowing that sentiment resonates with everyone. Put simply, a Secret Spirit show is the polar opposite of social distancing and the first thing I want to do once the threat of pandemic lifts.