When you go to a Spiraling show for the first time, you're likely to encounter what at first must seem like a strange assortment of fans. As with most rock shows, you'll inevitably run into a large number of enthusiastic teenage and twenty-something hipsters, sporting multi-colored hairdos, buttons, denim jackets, and all of the other accessories of the revitalized New Wave aesthetic. When asked to describe the band's sound, they will invariably say that it "rocks", normally modifying "rocks" with some colorful expletive. They are drawn to the band by its charismatic stage presence, and by its jubilant, infectious, Ben-Folds-and-Dave-Grohl-remake-The-Cars brand of modern rock. On the other side, you'll also encounter a fair number of "music geeks" (for lack of a better term), many of whom first became aware of the group as a result of whiz-kid Tom Brislin's dazzling keyboard work with progressive rock legends Yes (2001 Symphonic Live Tour). These fans will often use the word "tight" to describe the group's live performance, citing Brislin's undeniable gift for sophisticated pop songwriting, and lauding the musical cohesiveness of drummer Paul Wells, bassist Bob Hart, and guitarist Marty O'Kane.
Whatever the makeup of Spiraling's audience, there is undeniable evidence that it has been growing steadily over the past year. Even before the release of the critically-acclaimed Transmitter in September, Spiraling had begun to develop a reputation as one of the east coast's best independent bands. The group has toured extensively to support the album, performing with artists such as Grammy winners They Might Be Giants, alternative rock legends Violent Femmes, and Capitol recording artists OK GO. Along the way, they've won over new fans from New York to Florida, and from Texas to Minnesota. And not only is the band's fanbase increasing in size, it's also becoming increasingly die-hard, as is evidenced by an ever-burgeoning online fan community. Previously, fans might request that Spiraling make a return to their area; now, they demand it.
As Spiraling's popularity with audiences has grown, so has its visibility in the press. New Jersey's Aquarian Weekly went so far as to deem Transmitter "an instant classic", and by year's end the group found itself on several publications' "Best of 2002" lists. With this newfound exposure came increased radio airplay, as Transmitter was added to the playlists of college and commercial radio stations nationwide. Recent Spiraling convert and fellow New Jersey native Matt Pinfield even featured the band on his weekly radio show on 92.3 K-Rock, New York's premier modern rock station. For an independent band with no major label support, no radio promotion, with nothing but their own talent and initiative to stand on, this was nothing short of a major coup. And where was the band on this momentous occasion? Where they most like to be - on the road.
When Spiraling takes the stage, you'll see something strange, almost unprecedented, take place: all of the hipsters and the geeks, the young and the not-so-young, the chicks and the dudes, all come together. Almost as one body, they dance, bob their heads, and sing along to songs they memorized long ago. There may be different things about Spiraling that turn them on and draw them in, but it doesn't really matter. Because what's most gratifying to the guys in the band is that regardless of who comes to see them, and regardless of why they stay, they all have fun.