One of the Twin Cities’ most buzzed-about young bands of the past two years, the moody, Christian-themed indie-rock trio Zoo Animal is using Friday’s second annual gig at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church as a benediction of sorts. It will be the group's last show with two-thirds of its original lineup. Bassist Tim Abramson and drummer Thom Burton “decided that the life of a musician was probably not suited for them,” explained singer/guitarist Holly Newsom.
“I’ve been looking to press the accelerator for [Zoo Animal]," she continued, "and we all kind of came to the conclusion that it might be best I play with folks who can be on the road as much as I want to be. I hate thinking of going on without them, but I’m also excited about the freedom to travel more.”
Newsom intends to carry on with the band name, and she even has initial plans to perform with the members of Tarlton on a tour in January. Tarlton is one of the openers at Friday's free show, along with Nona Marie & the Choir (Marie also co-helms Dark Dark Dark). Like a lot of Zoo Animal's gigs, this one is all-ages (7 p.m., 511 Groveland Av., Mpls., click here for more details). I didn't attend last year's concert at the Loring Park-neighboring church but heard it was quite magical, as were a lot of their performances. Here's an excellent clip from "MN Original."