Featuring bands with spontaneous styles, this weekend at High Dive promises to be a unique musical experience.
This Saturday the local venue will host bands The Heavy Pets, Whale Feral and Supamoon, with doors opening at 9 p.m. and music beginning at 9:30 p.m.
The Heavy Pets has been performing together for 13 years, with more than 1300 performances under their belt. The band’s current lineup has been consistent for five years with Jeff Lloyd (guitar and vocals), Mike Garulli, (guitar and vocals), Jim Wuest (keys and vocals), Jamie Newitt (drums and vocals), and Tony D’Amato (bass).
“Everybody in the band has known somebody since childhood,” Lloyd said. “We’ve worked off the strength of that tight unit, and it’s allowed us to get really deep and really funky.”
This is not The Heavy Pets’ first time in Gainesville, but this week they will introduce new music. The band just released “Higher,” the first single off of their upcoming full-length studio album “Strawberry Mansion,” set to release this fall. The band will be leaning into new tracks from the album at Saturday’s performance, Lloyd said.
“We’re a band that really focuses on song craft,” Lloyd said. “We’re really showcasing that on our next record.”
The Heavy Pets is known as a jam band, which focuses on improvisation. However, with years of playing together, Lloyd says that The Heavy Pets is “more of a band that jams.” They use spontaneity, improvisation and creativity to create their music, but they are organized and know what they want from the music they create.
Whale Feral is a Gainesville-native band that formed in October 2016. The band is comprised of Matt Urban (lead guitar and vocals), Ricky Cagno (rhythm guitar and vocals), William Bethea (bass) and David Havens (drums). The group quickly gained traction locally, performing parties, downtown venues and putting on shows at First Magnitude Brewing Company every Sunday night.
“We’ve evolved a lot,” Cagno said. “It’s kind of the nature of what we are trying to accomplish with this band, keeping things fresh and exciting and having a lot of improvisation.”
Whale Feral’s music is all about collaboration and improvisation. Cagno said that they want to create an immersive experience rather than performing a traditional set. Each member of the band brings different musical interests and tastes to the table, creating a blend of jazz, blues, country, folk, swing, bluegrass, R&B and Americana, Urban said.
“Everybody was playing such different styles of music when we all started playing together,” said Havens. “We were able to incorporate everything into what we think is a really different sound.”
Tickets are available at Hear Again Records, the High Dive box office and ticketfly.com. Tickets are $12 in advance, and $14 the day of. Guests under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian. Those under 21 will be charged an additional $3 fee.